Man accused of nearly beheading woman in Northern California will undergo mental evaulation

A man accused of killing his child’s mother with a sword in northern California last week will face a mental competency test, stalling the case.

The defense requested the evaluation of Jose Rafael Solano Landaeta during his arraignment Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court, where he faces charges of murder, with specific charges of using a deadly weapon and aggravating causing grievous bodily harm and a felony .

Landaeta, 33, was arrested Thursday afternoon after San Mateo County sheriff’s deputies were pulled over in San Carlos over an ongoing assault. Deputies found “an apparently deceased woman” on the street, Lt. Eamonn Allen at a press conference on Thursday. She was later identified as Karina Castro, 27.

Landaeta allegedly used a “samurai sword” to nearly decapitate the victim, San Mateo County Dist. atty said Steve Wagstaffe in an interview with The Times.

“It’s a horrific murder because of the way the victim lost his life,” Wagstaffe said.

Castro had a restraining order on Landeata at the time of her death, Wagstaffe said.

Castro and Landeata gave birth to a one-year-old child together, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Castro had another daughter who is 7 years old.

Landaeta is being held without bail during the psychiatric evaluation, which could last up to two months, Wagstaffe said.

If convicted, he faces up to 26 years in prison.

The crime scene in San Carlos, between San Francisco and San Jose, was shocking, and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department has offered assistance to witnesses and first responders.

Many people saw the attack, which took place on the street, Wagstaffe said.

“I know the deputies who got to the scene first were a little bit distressed by the scene,” Allen said Thursday. “We offer them peer support.” Man accused of nearly beheading woman in Northern California will undergo mental evaulation

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