The trial for the man accused of gunning down a Stanislaus County Sheriff's deputy has been put on hold because the defendant has been ruled mentally unfit to continue.
Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Thomas Zeff ordered the trial for David Machado Jr. be put on hold Monday because Machado is not currently capable of aiding in his own defense. Zeff made his ruling after reviewing a mental health report compiled for Machado.
Machado, 38, of Keyes is facing charges of murder with a special circumstance of killing a peace officer, robbery in the first degree, felony carjacking and being a felon in possession of a gun. All the charges carry an enhancement for using a firearm and the murder charge has an enhancement of acting with premeditation. The charges against Machado all stem from the death of Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace, who was fatally shot on the morning of Nov. 13 while checking on a suspicious vehicle at the Fox Grove Fishing Access.
The murder charge with the special circumstance makes the case against Machado a capital case. The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office has not yet decided if the death penalty will be pursued for Machado.
In his previous court appearances Machado has yelled statements out during the proceedings, including one statement in which he said he wanted to get the trial over with right away because, "There’s no f-----g point in dragging it out.”
The mental health report for Machado was prompted when he stated he wanted to represent himself and his court-appointed attorney Marlon Simon told the judge he had serious concerns that Machado could assist in his own defense.
Zeff ordered Machado back in court Feb. 14 to determine what type of mental health treatment will be ordered for Machado. Typically the treatment involves commitment to the state mental health department until a time comes if and when the defendant is declared sane enough to continue with the trial.