Man accused in double murder ordered to have psychological examinations

Juan Carlos Alcala accused in double murder in Palm Desert

Indio - A judge on Friday ordered a Palm Desert man accused of fatally shooting his neighbor's 24-year-old son and 2-year-old granddaughter to undergo two psychological examinations.

Juan Carlos Alcala, 46, is charged with the April 8, 2011, murders of Felipe Lozano Jr. and his daughter, Doria Zoe Reynoso Lozano, at the Hovley Gardens Apartments in the 74500 block of 42nd Avenue.

Alcala is also charged with firing at Felipe Lozano's mother, who survived gunshot wounds to the thigh and knee.

At a hearing at Indio's Larson Justice Center, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Arjuna Saraydarian declared doubt about Alcala's mental competence to stand trial and ordered two experts to examine him. A hearing on their reports is scheduled for Aug. 29, according to court records.

At Alcala's preliminary hearing in June 2012, Afra Lozano testified that her son and granddaughter had come to her apartment the day of the shooting for a visit. Felipe Lozano took the toddler outside and returned a short time later, she said.

``(Felipe) was very scared, he was holding (Doria) very tightly. I didn't know what was happening. Then I saw Mr. Alcala run after him with a handgun,'' Lozano said.

She said her son tried to open the garage door, but it was locked, so he came to the sliding glass door.

``I opened the sliding glass door, but (Alcala) fired,'' the witness said.

 ``You mentioned suddenly the glass broke?'' asked Deputy District
Attorney Manny Bustamante.

 ``Yes, with the impact of the bullet,'' Lozano said. ``Felipe fell ... with the baby and then the gentleman was firing at me,'' she said.

Bustamante asked the woman if Alcala said anything.

``No, I remember he fired a lot of shots,'' Lozano said.

She said she ran outside with one of her younger sons, who had been upstairs playing video games.

 ``When you (left), was Mr. Alcala still inside?'' Bustamante asked.

 ``He was inside and was firing one shot after another,'' Lozano said.

Under questioning from defense attorney Neil Harrison, Lozano said Alcala ``would follow us to work, to church, threaten to kill us.''

Harrison asked her if the problems between her family and Alcala stemmed
from his allegations that they could see through the walls what he was doing
inside his apartment.

``I didn't have any problems with him, he was the one who came to our house,'' she said.

``Did anyone indicate that Mr. Alcala had any mental health problems?'' Harrison asked.

 ``I repeat, we never knew him. I don't think he had mental problems,''
she said.

She said Alcala threatened her and her family several times and would ``tell us to stop making a noise we never made.''

Felipe Lozano died at the scene. His daughter was airlifted to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where she died that night.

Alcala, who is being held without bail, pleaded not guilty by insanity at his arraignment last August. If convicted and found sane, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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