Man charged with killing California officer returns to court

February 7, 2019 GMT

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — A Mexican man in the U.S. illegally charged in the killing of a California police officer will return to court for the judge to hear the results of a mental health evaluation.

Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office spokesman John Goold says Gustavo Perez Arriaga will return to court in Modesto Thursday.

Perez Arriaga was charged in the Dec. 26 shooting death of Cpl. Ronil Singh of the tiny Newman Police Department during a traffic stop.

In a hearing last month, Perez Arriaga’s attorney questioned his client’s mental competency, leading the court to delay the case until a mental health evaluation was completed.

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Authorities say he was in the country illegally and was fleeing back to his native Mexico when he was arrested two days after Singh’s killing.

The case rekindled a debate over California’s sanctuary law that limits cooperation by local authorities with federal immigration authorities.