Man accused of stabbing biotech exec sent to mental hospital

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SAN DIEGO — A 21-year-old man accused of randomly targeting and stabbing a biotech executive walking to a luncheon near the Westfield mall in University City is mentally incompetent to stand trial and will be sent to a state mental hospital, a judge ruled Wednesday.

After reviewing a doctor’s report, Judge Joseph Brannigan found that Odie Miller did not understand the charges against him and could not assist his attorney at trial.

Miller will be sent to Patton State Hospital for up to three years or until his competency is restored, the judge said.

The defendant faces nearly 13 years in prison if convicted of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

His attorney, Amy Hoffman, said Miller suffers from severe mental illness.

At his arraignment, prosecutor Geoff Allard said Miller was on probation for a similar knife attack last year involving family members when he allegedly assaulted the biotech executive Aug. 6, apparently without provocation, near Renaissance Avenue and Towne Centre Drive shortly after noon.

The 44-year-old victim was stabbed more than 40 times, in the head, neck, upper body and arms.

Miller fled but was arrested the next morning in downtown San Diego.

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