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Criminal Proceedings Suspended For Man Accused Of Killing Deputy Joseph Solano Over Questions Of Mental Capacity

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Criminal Proceedings were suspended Thursday over questions about the mental competency of a man charged in the shooting deaths of an off-duty Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department deputy and another man among other crimes.

Utah Man Charged In Slaying Of Deputy Makes First Court Appearance
Rhett Nelson, 30, appears in court on June 13, 2019, for the first time since being charged with the double-murders of Deputy Joseph Gilbert Solano and Dmitry Alekseyevich Kolstov. (CBS2)

Rhett McKenzie Nelson, 31, of St. George, Utah, had been awaiting a hearing to determine if there was sufficient evidence to require him to stand trial on two counts of murder for the fatal June 10, 2019 shootings of Dmitry Alekseyevich Koltsov in downtown Los Angeles and off-duty Deputy Joseph Gilbert Solano in Alhambra.

Authorities believe that after killing Solano, Nelson committed two armed robberies in Long Beach. One happened at a Shell gas station and the second at a 7-Eleven. He has also been accused of attempting to murder a third person that same day. A motive remains unclear.

Prior to the alleged crime spree, Nelson's family in Utah reported him missing in May 2019 and said he had a history of opiate abuse. In late 2019, Nelson pleaded not guilty to the charges levied against him.

Nelson is expected to be examined by two doctors and is due back in court June 10.

(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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