BRIGHAM CITY — A Box Elder County man charged with murder has been deemed incompetent to stand trial, effectively putting a pause on the case. However, the court noted there could be a probability to restore him to competency in the near future.
Jose Gutierrez-Torres, 40, appeared in a Brigham City courtroom on Monday to discuss his competency status before the court.
Online court records indicate that the court adhered to a psychological evaluation of Gutierrez-Torres, and Judge Brandon Maynard ruled he was incompetent to stand trial.
The ruling on Gutierrez-Torres’ mental competency comes months after his attorney, Michael Studebaker, asked for the evaluation. In a motion filed in June, Studebaker said that Gutierrez-Torres has been “intermittently severely depressed” and he has not been able to remember the events that ultimately landed him in jail.
On Wednesday, an order to have Gutierrez-Torres admitted to the Utah State Hospital was sent to the court by prosecutors. As of Thursday afternoon, the order has yet to be signed by Maynard. Once that happens, Gutierrez-Torres will likely be sent to the state hospital in Provo in the hopes he will be restored to competency.
Gutierrez-Torres had been in either a hospital or jail since Sunday, March 3, when police were sent to a home in Bothwell, a town west of Tremonton, and found Maria De Jesus Cervantes, 53, dead due to multiple stab wounds to her neck.
Tremonton Police were called to the home where the two lived, and when they arrived, a bloody Gutierrez-Torres opened the door and reportedly had wounds to his throat. A Tremonton officer tried to assist Gutierrez-Torres, but he allegedly started to fight and had to be subdued.
Officers found Cervantes’s body face down and covered in blood in the back west bedroom. A bloody steak knife wrapped in a wash cloth was found laying near her head, according to a probable cause statement.
As of Thursday, Gutierrez-Torres was still in the custody of the Box Elder County Jail, according to a jail official. Court documents do not indicate when he could be transferred to the Utah State Hospital in Provo.
Gutierrez-Torres’ next court date is scheduled for competency review hearing on Feb. 10, 2020, in Brigham City’s 1st District Court.