BANNING (CNS) – A judge Monday ordered a psychiatric evaluation of a 70- year-old man accused of fatally stabbing his wife in their San Jacinto apartment to determine his mental fitness.
Lorenzo Salciedo Liera Jr. is charged with murder and a sentence- enhancing allegation of using a deadly weapon in the slaying last month of 71- year-old Ruth Liera.
During a hearing Monday at the Banning Justice Center, the defendant’s attorney submitted a motion requesting that Liera undergo evaluations to gauge his mental competency.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Joshlyn Pulliam ruled in favor and scheduled a hearing on May 25 to appoint the doctors who will handle the process.
Liera is being held without bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.
According to sheriff’s Sgt. Ben Ramirez, patrol deputies were sent to his apartment in the 1700 block of South Santa Fe Avenue, near Esplanade Avenue, about 7:30 a.m. on April 20 to investigate reports of an assault.
Ramirez said that on entering the residence, they found Ruth Liera dead as a result of “multiple sharp force injuries.”
Her husband was outside the apartment and was detained without incident, the sergeant said.
After he was questioned at length by Central Homicide Unit detectives, Liera was formally arrested and jailed that night.
A possible motive for the alleged attack was not disclosed.
The defendant has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
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