Muni stabbing suspect found competent to stand trial 

A court-appointed doctor has found a 30-year-old man accused of five separate unprovoked stabbings in San Francisco last year, including three on San Francisco Municipal Railway vehicles, mentally fit to stand trial.

The attorney for Bobby Brown, a homeless man arrested Dec. 1, had declared a doubt as to his competency to assist him in the case.

District attorney's office spokesman Brian Buckelew said the psychologist evaluated Brown and her report Friday found that he was competent to assist in his own defense and to stand trial.

It's still uncertain whether the defense will hire its own doctor to examine Brown.

"This doctor acknowledged that he has very serious mental issues, and we are just investigating it further," Brown's attorney V. Roy Lefcourt said Friday.

Brown is scheduled to return to court Feb. 8 for a status hearing in the case. Until the competency issue is finally resolved, criminal proceedings have been suspended.

Brown is facing four counts of attempted murder, five counts of assault with a deadly weapon, eight counts of battery and one count of attempted robbery for the alleged attacks. He has not been arraigned on the charges.

The incidents include a 41-year-old woman stabbed in the arm on a Muni train May 12; an 11-year-old boy knifed in the stomach on a Muni bus Sept. 1; two women stabbed while walking in the Tenderloin on Nov. 14 and Nov. 26; and a 24-year-old woman stabbed twice with a corkscrew on a Muni train Nov. 30.

Police said the stabbings were all random and unprovoked: the unknown attacker said nothing and then fled. In the Nov. 14 Tenderloin stabbing, he reportedly asked the woman for money before attacking her.

All five victims survived, though the boy nearly bled to death.

If found incompetent to stand trial, Brown would remain in a custodial status -- typically in a mental hospital -- until competency is restored and criminal proceedings can resume.

If convicted, Brown would face life in prison.

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