Suspect in teen’s death competent for trial, jury decides
Raul Hernandez (Ventura County Star) | August 7, 2012
After more than a week of testimony and evidence, a jury Tuesday took two hours to find Ojai teen Alex Medina competent to stand trial in the killing of a 16-year-old boy.
Medina is accused of the gang-related killing of Seth Scarminach at a party in Meiners Oaks. Scarminach was stabbed in the driveway of a home in the 2400 block of Maricopa Highway shortly before 2 a.m. April 16, 2009.
In an interview, prosecutor Bill Haney called the two-hour decision a “no brainer,” saying the defense’s argument that Medina had mental problems was dismantled quickly.
During the trial, five psychologists and psychiatrists and 10 other witnesses testified.
After the trial, Medina’s lawyer Scott Wippert said he disagreed with the jury’s decision.
Ventura County Superior Court Judge James Cloninger ordered that the criminal suspension of the case be lifted. Attorneys are due to return to court Wednesday afternoon to discuss a defense motion to recuse the district attorney from prosecuting the case.
Cloninger also is scheduled to set a date for a preliminary hearing. He said he had concerns that Medina had been locked up at the juvenile detention center for years without determining through a preliminary hearing whether enough evidence exists to hold him for trial.
Wippert and Robyn Bramson, Medina’s other lawyer, filed a recusal motion because they think Haney hid evidence from them.
Tags: Alex Medina, Ojai, Seth Scarminach, teenager on trial