gavel.jpgA man accused in a fatal beating in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood in March had criminal proceedings against him suspended today because of doubts about his mental competency, prosecutors said.

Anthony Pacrem, 32, is accused of punching and kicking another man during a fight in the 400 block of Prentiss Street on March 22, according to police.

The victim, Sherman Brown, 59, blacked out during the beating. He was taken to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on May 3.

Pacrem was found and arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault, and the charges were later amended to murder after prosecutors received word that Brown had died.

However, Pacrem never appeared in court, since he was being held for psychiatric evaluation at a hospital. His defense attorney, Matthew Rosen from the public defender’s office, has said Pacrem has a long history of mental illness.

District attorney’s office spokesman Seth Steward said Pacrem’s case was set for arraignment 17 times in San Francisco Superior Court but was delayed each time.

Finally, Judge Samuel Feng this morning suspended criminal proceedings and sent the case to another judge who holds mental competency hearings.

The case will return to court on Friday for the competency hearing.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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