Father Charged With Drowning Daughter in Baptismal Font Found Mentally Incompetent | NBC Bay Area
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Father Charged With Drowning Daughter in Baptismal Font Found Mentally Incompetent

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    Father Charged With Drowning Daughter in Baptismal Font Found Mentally Incompetent
    NBC Bay Area/Healdsburg Police Department
    Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz, 42, (right) is accused of drowning his 4-year-old daughter on Nov. 20, 2016, in the baptismal font at St. John the Baptist Church in Healdsburg, California.

    A Healdsburg father was found mentally incompetent Monday to be tried for the alleged drowning murder of his 4-year-old daughter in a church baptismal fountain in November.

    Gerardo Mendoza Ordaz, 42, will return to Sonoma County Superior Court Jan. 11 to determine where he will be placed until he is competent to understand the criminal proceedings against him.

    Many defendants are placed in Napa State Hospital until they are found mentally competent. Deputy District Attorney Jason Riehl said Ordaz could be hospitalized there up to three years, but there are exceptions in homicide cases.

    Ordaz is charged with the murder of his daughter, Maria Jose Ordaz-Chavarria, at St. John the Baptist's Church in Healdsburg and willful infliction of emotional distress of his 9-year-old son on Nov. 20.

    Ordaz was found naked and yelling for help with his daughter in his arms and his partially clothed son in a parking lot behind the Healdsburg Police Department on Center Street around 8:30 p.m. He is being held under no bail in the Sonoma County Jail.

    Ordaz told Judge Arthur Wick this morning he will continue taking prescription medications.

    The first doctor to speak with Ordaz indicated he appeared to be mentally incompetent and criminal proceedings were suspended. In a report today, another doctor who examined Ordaz said he was mentally incompetent, Riehl said.

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