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Accused stalker may be mentally incompetent to stand trial

VICTORVILLE • The defense attorney of a man accused of stalking a woman and chasing a teenage girl at a school bus stop told a judge that the defendant may be mentally incompetent to stand trial.

Judge Lorenzo Balderrama suspended criminal court proceedings of Robert McClanahan on Tuesday and appointed a psychologist to examine the 34-year-old defendant.

For McClanahan to stand trial, he needs to be able to understand the nature of the case and its proceedings and communicate with his attorney.

If the judge rules McClanahan mentally incompetent, the defendant would be housed in a mental health facility to get treatment. The court proceedings will resume once he’s ruled competent to stand trial.

McClanahan was arrested on Oct. 19 for allegedly chasing and harassing a 13-year-old girl who was waiting for her school bus nearby Austin and Hughes roads in Victorville. He was cited and released for that incident.

Just six days later, he was arrested again for allegedly stalking a woman between Oct. 15 and 25.

The District Attorney’s office charged him with the stalking of the woman, molestation and assault of the girl and battery on a peace officer. Prosecutors added a felony charge Tuesday after another woman read a Daily Press article and came forward stating McClanahan assaulted her with a deadly weapon in July, Deputy District Attorney David Foy said.

The Daily Press incorrectly reported that McClanahan is a convicted sex offender. Although he was charged with an unrelated misdemeanor child molestation in 2010, he was never convicted of the crime.

Balderrama ruled back then that McClanahan was incompetent to stand trial, and the defendant was sent to a mental hospital. The District Attorney’s office dismissed the charges in 2012 after McClanahan served more than a year in the hospital.

If McClanahan gets convicted of the new child molestation charge, he would have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. He could face up to six years and eight months in prison if he gets convicted in a jury trial.

McClanahan’s next hearing will take place Dec. 18, when the court’s expected to receive the psychologist’s report on McClanahan.

Tomoya Shimura may be reached at (760) 955-5368 or TShimura@VVDailyPress.com. Follow Tomoya on Facebook at facebook.com/ShimuraTomoya.

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