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Judge to decide murder defendant’s competency
April 04, 2014, 05:00 AM Daily Journal Staff Report

Marc Furlan

A judge will determine if a Half Moon Bay man accused of fatally stabbing and bludgeoning a friend at his father’s Pacifica home before dragging the body outside in a bid to hide it is mentally competent to stand trial for murder.

Marc Furlan’s defense agreed yesterday to let a judge decide on May 7 rather than face a jury. The crux of the case will likely be the findings of two court-appointed doctors who have found Furlan competent.

Furlan is charged with murder and using a weapon in the Oct. 17, 2002, death of Keith Coffey. Furlan and Coffey, 24, were acquaintances and reportedly argued before Coffey’s death at the Dell Road home of Furlan’s father. Prosecutors say Furlan stabbed and beat Coffey with a knife and hammer, leaving more than 50 wounds to his body. Two tenants fled the scene and contacted police who found Coffey in front of the home around 5:15 a.m. He was reportedly trying to clean up the scene by dragging the body outside, leaving a large trail of blood from the house.

A clear motive in the murder has never been publicly stated. Coffey’s death was the first murder in Pacifica since 2000.

In March 2013, prosecutors sidestepped a preliminary hearing on the evidence by asking the criminal grand jury to indict Furlan on the charges. The indictment moved him directly into Superior Court but proceedings came to a standstill in August when the defense questioned his competency.

Sanity is one’s mental state at the time of an alleged crime while competency is his or her ability to aid in one’s own defense. If the judge finds Furlan competent, criminal proceedings will be reinstated. If not, Furlan will be committed to a state mental facility.

Furlan remains in custody without bail.

 

 

Tags: furlan, murder, coffey, defense, death, competent,


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