A man charged with fatally shooting two people during a pot robbery in Colorado Springs has been confined to the state psychiatric hospital in Pueblo after erupting into “ravings” in court.
Nashid Rivers, 20, will be evaluated for mental competency instead of proceeding to a double-murder trial scheduled for late July, 4th Judicial District Judge Larry E. Schwartz ruled June 24 at a contentious hearing.
Rivers is one of two men charged with first-degree murder in the killings of Serena Garcia, 21, and Marcus Denton, 20. They were shot in the head and left in a burning car near the Bear Creek Dog Park in April 2018.
Rivers is representing himself in court after firing his court-appointed public defender in February.
During last month’s hearing before Schwartz, however, Rivers raised the possibility of his family supplying money to hire a new attorney just weeks from his trial date, gave “raving responses” to the judge’s questions and lashed out at the judge, prosecutors and other attorneys, court records show.
Schwartz’s order that Rivers be transferred to the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo for an evaluation could delay his prosecution for months.
The hospital’s evaluation is due by September, but the defendant has a right to a second opinion, potentially extending his legal limbo.
Rivers is due to return to court Sept. 3.
The judge Monday also postponed arraignment for Rivers’ alleged accomplice, Marquis Hazard, 19, who is due to return to court Sept. 30.
Rivers joins a long list of high-profile criminal defendants in legal limbo in the Pikes Peak region amid mental health claims. That list includes Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Dear, who is being held for treatment at the Pueblo facility, stalling his prosecution in the Nov. 27, 2015, attack that killed three people and wounded nine more in Colorado Springs.