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Local News

Three Suspects in Mesa Stabbings Case, David Attias Due Back in Court on Monday

Attorneys for trio want more discussion before preliminary hearings; driver in deadly Isla Vista rampage wants out of mental hospital

Two high-profile cases will be back in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Monday.

The three suspects charged in connection with the April 13 stabbings of two men at a Mesa neighborhood party will be the subject of a discussion about the case before details are finalized for their preliminary hearings. In addition, one of the suspects has requested that he be allowed to deploy with his military unit.

Sean Crane, 23; Michael Hardy, 22; and Eddie Mesa Jr., 23, all of Santa Barbara, have been charged in connection with the attack that sent two men to the hospital, one with life-threatening injuries. All three have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Crane has been charged with attempted murder and use of a deadly weapon on one of the victims, a 40-year-old man who spent 16 days in Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Hardy was charged with assault with a deadly weapon on the younger victim and special allegations of causing great bodily injury and a parole violation. Mesa has been charged with accessory after the fact connected to Crane’s attempted-murder charge.

Last week, the trio’s defense attorneys asked for a Monday hearing to further discuss the case before the June 11-12 preliminary hearings.

Attorney Doug Hays, who is representing Crane, said there is new material coming to light that could help resolve some parts of the case.

Mesa’s attorney, Bob Sanger, said his client’s Marine unit is scheduled to deploy soon and Mesa would like to leave with it. There is no allegation that Mesa was involved in the fight itself, Sanger noted, and he has been released on bail while the other two co-defendants remain in custody at the County Jail.

Formal charges are pending for a fourth suspect, Devin Thomas Kelley, 24, of Santa Barbara, who was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and violation of parole.

A jury convicted David Attias of four counts of second-degree murder but also found him to be insane when he raced his car down a crowded Isla Vista street in 2001, striking and killing four pedestrians. He is requesting that a judge grant his release from the mental hospital where he has been living for the last 10 years.
A jury convicted David Attias of four counts of second-degree murder but also found him to be insane when he raced his car down a crowded Isla Vista street in 2001, striking and killing four pedestrians. He is requesting that a judge grant his release from the mental hospital where he has been living for the last 10 years. (www.keyt.com photo)

In Judge Tom Adams’ courtroom, meanwhile, testimony will resume at 9 a.m. Monday in a hearing to determine whether David Attias can be released from a state mental institution.

Attias, 30, was convicted of four counts of second-degree murder stemming from a 2001 rampage in which the then-UCSB freshman struck and killed four people and seriously injured another while speeding in his car down a crowded Isla Vista street. The jury concluded he was legally insane and he’s been living at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino since 2002.

Last month, Attias requested that he be transferred to an outpatient psychiatric facility, stating he has his bipolar disorder under control.

UCSB students Nick Bourdakis and Christopher Divis and SBCC student Ruth Levy, all 20, and San Francisco resident Elie Israel, 27, were killed when Attias hit them with his car as he raced down the 6500 block of Sabado Tarde Road at an estimated 60 mph. Levy’s brother, Albert, 27, was critically injured.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook. target=https://www.noozhawk.com/images/uploads/Attias250x200.jpg title=

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