Murder suspect Hoffmeister claims incompetence for trial

Travis Hoffmeister's mug shot

The man accused in the 2007 killing of a 20-year-old Hollister woman contended in court Thursday he was incompetent for trial proceedings, and a judge gave him a week to return with a doctor’s recommendation on his mental status.

Hollister’s Travis Hoffmeister, 27, appeared Thursday morning at the San Benito County Courthouse for a trial confirmation – his trial is scheduled for Feb. 27 – but he has made a motion arguing he is mentally incompetent to fully comprehend the proceedings.

Hoffmeister is accused in the June 2007 homicide of Christella Macias, whose half-naked body was found on C Street by a resident of the neighborhood. Hollister police arrested Hoffmeister in March 2008 after connecting him to the crime through DNA evidence.

Judge Steven Sanders scheduled another hearing for Feb. 23 to review a prospective medical recommendation on Hoffmeister’s competence.

If he is found incompetent, Hoffmeister would be sent to a mental hospital and placed on a program to improve his mental competency for trial.

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