Mental Competency in Question for Man Accused of Gunning Down Navy Corpsman

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Navy corpsman Devon Rideout (right) was shot and killed on July 20, 2018. (Facebook)
Navy corpsman Devon Rideout (right) was shot and killed on July 20, 2018. (Facebook)

VISTA -- The criminal case against an Oceanside man accused of gunning down his neighbor as she walked her puppy was put on hold Friday after the defense attorney called her client's competency into question.

In November, a judge will decide if defendant Eduardo Arriola is mentally competent to face trial or will need to be sent to Patton State Hospital, a state mental hospital that also cares for inmates who have been deemed incompetent to stand trial.

Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe has said that Arriola, a former Marine, has a diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Arriola's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arriola, 26, is accused of shooting Devon Rideout, 24, steps from the front door of her apartment on Los Arbolitos Boulevard, north of state Route 76, shortly before 4 p.m. July 20, 2018.

Rideout, a Navy Corpsman, was still in uniform. Arriola was arrested at the scene.

During the ensuing investigation, police lifted the hood of Arriola's 2018 Toyota. There, on a plastic reservoir, scrawled with a black marker, they found a list of words and names.

Among the names: Rideout. At the bottom of the list an abbreviation: R.I.P.

Arriola, who was reportedly attending a community college, lived with his family in the apartment above the victim, Watanabe said. According to the prosecutor, there is no indication that the victim and her accused killer had any sort of relationship.

The defendant has pleaded not guilty to murder and a special-circumstance allegation of lying in wait -- an allegation that gives prosecutors the option of seeking the death penalty in this case or life in prison without the possibility of parole, if Arriola is convicted.

The District Attorney's Office has not yet announced which option it will seek in this case.

After his preliminary hearing in April, Arriola's attorney indicated there was a possibility her client might enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

Arriola's attorney, Lindsay Itzhaki, did not immediately respond Friday to a request for comment. 

This article is written by Teri Figueroa from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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