Bankers Hills SWAT suspect deemed mentally competent for trial

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SAN DIEGO — A man accused of firing on San Diego police officers during a five-hour standoff at his ex-girlfriend’s Bankers Hill apartment last year is mentally competent to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Titus Nathan Colbert, 34, of Las Vegas, faces 105 years to life in prison if convicted of three counts of premeditated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Colbert’s attorney today stipulated to doctors’ reports that the defendant understands the charges against him and can assist in his own defense.

A woman called police at about 9:15 a.m. on Nov. 4, saying her ex- boyfriend, Colbert, may have gained access to her fourth-floor apartment on Brant Street, said Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon.

When officers checked a rear bedroom of the apartment, Colbert allegedly fired at them from the bedroom, narrowly missing them. One of the officers, Carlos Estrada, returned fire while other patrolmen retreated and called for backup.

During the standoff, Colbert also fired multiple rounds at two SWAT officers, Runyon said. One of them, eight-year SDPD veteran Matthew Hone, shot back at the suspect.

Prior to surrendering, the uninjured defendant disposed of a revolver and a rifle, dropping them to a courtyard below, according to the prosecutor. A subsequent search of the residence turned up another rifle, and 17 shell casings were recovered inside the apartment, Runyon said.

The emergency prompted evacuations, several school lockdowns, road closures and suspensions of incoming flights at nearby Lindbergh Field.

Colbert’s former girlfriend was able to leave the apartment before the gunfire began and was not hurt, police said.

Judge Steven Stone scheduled a readiness conference for June 17 and a preliminary hearing for June 21.

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