Judge orders competency evaluation for suspect in Ann Morrison Park killing last month

Ada County Magistrate Judge Daniel Steckel on Wednesday ordered that the homeless man accused of beating someone to death in Ann Morrison Park undergo a competency evaluation.

Andrew Ray Garcia, 27, is accused of killing 43-year-old Roque Leon Arellano last month after allegedly hitting and stomping on the victim.

A competency evaluation is ordered whenever there is reason to doubt a defendant’s mental fitness for trial, per Idaho Code 18-211.

Garcia is charged on suspicion of second-degree murder, grand theft and destruction of evidence. According to a criminal complaint against Garcia, he’s accused of “hitting, kicking and/or stomping on Arellano’s head and/or face from which he died.”

He’s also accused of destroying shoes that might have been discovered as evidence.

Arellano’s body was found in the southwest corner of the park at around 8:15 a.m. Oct. 17. It remains unclear how or whether Garcia and Arellano knew each other.

The grand theft charge (possessing stolen credit cards) stems from alleged incidents that are unconnected to Arellano’s death. The individual from whom the cards were stolen is also homeless, a prosecutor said last month.

Garcia remains in custody at the Ada County Jail and his next court date is set for 9:30 a.m. Nov. 27.

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Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.