A mental competency evaluation was ordered Thursday for a man who is suspected of killing a nurse and raping another woman in New York and is charged in Los Angeles County with sexually assaulting and trying to kill a woman in North Hollywood after they went on a date.
Criminal proceedings against Danueal Drayton were suspended after a defense attorney declared a doubt about the defendant’s mental competence, according to Paul Eakins of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Drayton, 27, of New Haven, Connecticut, is accused of sexually assaulting the 28-year-old woman, trying to strangle her and refusing to let her leave her North Hollywood apartment, according to Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr.
Drayton is charged in Los Angeles County with one count each of attempted murder, forcible rape, false imprisonment by violence and sexual penetration by a foreign object.
He was also wanted in New York in connection with the killing of nurse Samantha Stewart, who was found dead in her Queens apartment on July 17, as well as the rape of a woman in Brooklyn.
Stewart, 29, was found dead by her father and brother, and authorities later determined that she had been strangled.
The New York Daily News reported that Drayton confessed to committing two murders in Connecticut, one in the Bronx, one in Suffolk County, one in either Queens or Nassau County, and possibly another California homicide, according to a police source.
The source stressed, however, that it was unclear if Drayton was telling the truth about the additional crimes.
“My body did this, not my mind,” the paper quoted Drayton as telling investigators. “I didn’t want to do this. My body made me do this.”
Police believe he met the women through an online dating site.
He was arrested July 24 by Los Angeles police in North Hollywood.
The Daily News reported that Drayton was released by authorities at a July 5 hearing in Nassau County after his arrest for choking his girlfriend in Inwood Park. The judge ruled that Drayton posed no flight risk, rejecting the county district attorney’s call to hold him on $7,500 bail.
“It would have been impossible for the judge at that time to foresee the allegations that are presently unfolding and coming to light,” a Nassau Court spokesman told the Daily News.
Drayton — who was awaiting a date for a hearing to determine if there was enough evidence to require him to stand trial in the Los Angeles County case — remains jailed in lieu of $1.25 million bail.