General Crime

* Alex Youshock is charged with bringing pipe bombs, a sword, and a saw onto a high school campus in San Mateo

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A teenager charged with bringing pipe bombs, a sword, and a saw onto a high school campus in 2009 has been determined mentally competent to face attempted murder and other felony charges, a judge ruled Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court. Judge Stephen Hall made the decision after reviewing the reports of three court-appointed doctors who interviewed and evaluated 18-year-old Alex Youshock, Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti said. Youshock’s attorney, Jonathan McDougall, had requested a jury trial to determine the defendant’s competency. It was scheduled to begin Monday. Defense and prosecutors waived the competency trial, and Judge Hall ruled – based on the doctors’ conclusions – that Youshock’s criminal trial should proceed, Guidotti said. McDougall did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Youshock is alleged to have gone to Hillsdale High School on Aug. 24, 2009, and set off two pipe bombs in a hallway shortly after 8 a.m. Police said he was wearing a flack jacket and carrying a 2-foot sword, a chainsaw, and eight other pipe bombs that were ready to be detonated. He was tackled by school staff and then subdued and apprehended by San Mateo police officers, four of whom were awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor for their actions by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in a ceremony this morning. Youshock has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of exploding a destructive device with intent to commit murder, one count of possession of a destructive device in a public place, one count of use of explosives in an act of terrorism, and two counts of possession of a deadly weapon. He has been in custody without bail since he was arrested. Youshock’s criminal trial has been set for Jan. 31, 2011.

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