As previously reported, a suspect in a January double homicide had been undergoing a lengthy psychiatric evaluation in an effort to determine if he is competent to stand trial. However, the accused is now facing a more immediate peril than justice: starvation.
56-year-old Fisherman’s Wharf merchant Hong Ri Wu allegedly gunned down two rivals, 30-year-olds Qiong Han Chu and Feng Ping Ou, at their business on 269 Jefferson St on January 30.
Though Wu’s first mental evaluation determined that he was unfit to stand trial, as the Chron’s Matier and Ross report, prosecutors have challenged that doctor’s assessment.The case has gotten even more complicated now that Wu has staged an almost month-long hunger strike.
After two weeks of refusing food, Wu was admitted to SF General Hospital. That was September 17; the hunger strike is still going strong yet doctors refuse to intervene because, according to them, Wu has been deemed of sound mind, meaning he can make his own decisions on this one.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera is reportedly investigating, telling M&R that “I don’t think San Francisco should be in the business of standing by and letting people die on our watch.”
Sheriff Michael Hennessey appears to concur, telling the paper that “I never want a prisoner to die in custody, especially not when there is an absolute certainty that medical care could save their life.”