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Suspect in deputys death wants to represent himself
Judge orders competency exam
david machado
David Machado

The man standing accused of gunning down a Stanislaus County Sheriff’s deputy is wanting to represent himself in his legal proceedings, but first officials have to determine if he is even competent to stand trial.

David 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.

At Monday’s pretrial hearing in Stanislaus County Superior Court, Machado’s appointed attorney Deputy Public Defender Marlon Simon told Judge Thomas Zeff that Machado wanted to represent himself, but Simon said he had serious doubts about Machado’s competency.

“I have serious doubts about his ability to help in his own defense,” Simon told the judge.

The judge ordered Machado be evaluated by a court-appointed psychologist to determine firstly, if he is mentally competent to stand trial, and secondly if he is competent enough to act as his own attorney.

Machado, who was sitting shackled it the courtroom for the proceeding, mumbled something ineligible about violations to his rights, then as he was being escorted out of the courtroom yelled “I want this over today. There’s no f-----g point in dragging it out.”

Judge Zeff ordered Machado back in court on Jan. 17 to review the psychologist’s findings.

Machado is currently being held without bail at the Stanislaus County Jail.