Ridgecrest Man Charged with Woman’s Murder, Found Mentally Fit for Trial

BAKERSFIELD, California — A Ridgecrest man was charged with killing a woman two years ago again on Friday after doctors said he was mentally fit to stand trial.

Daniel Gunnarsson was looked at twice to see if he was qualified. After the first doctor said he was okay, the defense asked for a second opinion. Psychologists decide if a defendant is competent by figuring out if they understand the legal processes against them and can help with their defense.

The court date was set for July 17 by Judge Elizabet Rodriguez. She said that Gunnarsson should stay in jail without bail because he was accused of first-degree murder and cutting up a dead body.

Gunnarsson, who is 22, was found incompetent to stand trial and sent to a state hospital for treatment. After a few months, experts found that he was now able to stand trial.

Sheriff’s officials say that Gunnarsson was caught after Kathryn Pham’s body was found in a garage at his stepfather’s house on Skylark Avenue the morning of May 18, 2021. Gunnarsson was there with the body of Kathryn Pham. The back of 21-year-old Pham’s head and body were badly hurt.

Friends told detectives Gunnarsson was upset that Pham didn’t feel the same way about him. Reports say that Gunnarsson said he killed her and that he did it with an ice pick.

Leave a Comment