Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

As a murder motive remained a mystery, a mental competency evaluation was ordered Thursday for a man accused of fatally stabbing the 3-year-old daughter of two of his co- workers at a downtown Los Angeles garment factory on Halloween and attacking a woman at another factory nearly eight months earlier.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Hanasono ordered criminal proceedings suspended against Ricardo Augusto Utuy, 34, after Deputy Public Defender Kevin McGurk asked him to declare a doubt about Utuy’s competence to stand trial.

Utuy is charged with murder for the Oct. 31 attack on Ruby Vasquez, along with the attempted murder of a woman who was stabbed at another downtown Los Angeles factory on March 10.

Utuy allegedly attacked the girl after her parents brought her to work at a factory in the 800 block of McGarry Street, near Eighth and Alameda streets.

The girl’s mother saw her daughter, who had gone to give her father a cookie, running toward her with Utuy close behind, according to prosecutors.

Utuy allegedly stabbed the girl multiple times with a knife. She was driven from the scene in a private vehicle, which was met by an ambulance that took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Utuy, a Guatemalan national, later surrendered at the LAPD’s Rampart Station and has remained in jail since then.

After seeing Utuy’s photo in news reports, the other alleged victim came forward, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

LAPD Detective Supervisor Moses Castillo, who works in the Juvenile Division’s Abused Child Section, called the March 10 attack “very similar” to the attack on the girl, saying that the child’s family is “devastated” by what happened.

“Obviously this is a case that has really touched all of our hearts,” Castillo said.

—City News Service

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