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Alleged Old Town stabber’s mental competency to be challenged

Latest act of violence in Roseville's historic quarter not gang-related
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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Placer and Sacramento county court records indicate the suspect in a recent stabbing in Old Town Roseville has a troubled history, including documented mental health issues.

This week, Shane Michael England’s lawyer filed a special motion questioning whether his client was even mentally competent to stand trial for the attack.

Roseville police officers have been dealing with England, now 26, since at least 2008. In spring of that year, England was arrested three times in the span of seven days by Placer County law enforcement. The first incident was April 24, 2008, when Roseville police officers arrested England near the corner of Douglas Boulevard and Keehner Avenue for indecent exposure. The next day, Roseville police arrested him on charges of intimidating a business operator at a donut shop near Roseville Square. On April 30, 2008, Placer County Sheriff’s deputies arrested England for obstructing a peace officer outside the city limits.

Placer County court records show that all three cases against England were dismissed a month later. While the records are unclear on why the charges were dropped, each file states the defendant “needs to being taking medications.”

In October 2010, England was arrested in Sacramento County on charges of residential burglary, grand theft and receiving known stolen property. He later pleaded no contest to one felony count of grand theft and was sentenced to five years of probation.

According to case documents for the Old Town stabbing, England had been living in the Barker Hotel on Lincoln Street when he allegedly committed the knife assault on a woman he’d never met before. Roseville police said the victim was leaving a nearby bar, walking back to her vehicle, when England came after her. Without warning, he allegedly stabbed her in the stomach and then tried to rip her purse away. Unable to overpower her, police say England fled into the darkness of the nearby railroad tracks.

Roseville officers arrested him within half an hour of the incident. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and second-degree robbery.

Last week, the Placer County Public Defender’s Office filed a 1368 motion with Placer County Superior Court, challenging England’s mental competency to stand trial. Generally, 1368 motions are meant to notify the court that an attorney is worried the defendant is unable to understand the nature of the charges or criminal proceedings, or may be psychologically impaired, to the point where he or she cannot assist their attorney in handling the case.

Attorneys for the public defender wrote on their motion that England was “refusing to leave his cell” at the jail in Auburn. Placer County Superior Court Judge Frances Kearney will hear more detailed arguments and explanations about England’s possible mental issues during a 1368 hearing at the Justice Center in mid-April.