Man accused of fatal baseball bat beating not mentally competent to stand trial
SAN DIEGO — A man who made headlines in 2015 for jumping onstage during a Taylor Swift concert at Petco Park and was later charged with beating a man to death with a baseball bat in the Midway District was Monday found mentally incompetent to stand trial on a murder charge.
Criminal proceedings have been suspended since January for 29-year-old Christian Ewing, who is accused in the Dec. 5, 2018, killing of 57-year-old Gregory Freeman, who was found in the 3900 block of Rosecrans Street near the Interstate 5 overpass with trauma to his upper body. He died at a hospital four days later.
One witness told police that Freeman was on the ground when a man began to hit him with some sort of object, then fled, according to San Diego police Lt. Anthony Dupree.
After doubts were raised regarding Ewing’s ability to understand the charges against him and assist his attorney in his defense, the defendant was evaluated by psychiatric professionals and underwent a series of court hearings regarding his mental competency.
According to prosecutor Brian Erickson, attorneys on Monday stipulated to a county psychiatrist’s findings on Ewing’s mental state. He will be likely be transferred to Patton State Hospital to undergo treatment in hopes of restoring his sanity.
He faces 27 years to life if convicted of Freeman’s murder.
In 2015, Ewing sneaked into Swift’s concert and jumped onstage while she was performing. He was tackled by security guards, one of whom suffered a broken rib. Ewing pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to probation and given credit for three years in custody.