AP Nation / World

Apr 27, 1:50 PM EDT

Man charged in Fresno rampage to undergo mental evaluation


FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- The attorney for a black man charged with four counts of first-degree murder in a shooting rampage that randomly targeted white men in Fresno and in the separate death of a security guard said Thursday that his client suffers from mental illness.

A judge for a second time suspended Kori Ali Muhammad's criminal case Thursday to allow time for a doctor perform a psychological evaluation, The Fresno Bee reported (http://bit.ly/2oPOSqM ).

Muhammad, 39, is charged in total with killing four men - three randomly shot on the streets of Fresno on April 18, and an unarmed motel security guard days earlier.

Police have said that Muhammad explained in detail after his arrest how he shot men sitting in a utility truck, carrying a bag of groceries and waiting for a bus in the same neighborhood.

Muhammad wanted to kill as many white people as possible, laughing as he explained his actions, police have said.

Muhammad appeared in court last week to hear the charges filed in the security guard's death, making some outbursts. Prosecutors have charged him now with three additional counts of first-degree murder, bringing him to court Thursday.

Again, Muhammad was vocal in court and began to chant "let black people go" and "reparations," the Fresno Bee reported. The judge told Muhammad to be quiet, saying, "Sir, this is a court proceeding."

Prosecutors say that if he's convicted, Muhammad could face life in prison or the death sentence.

Attorney Eric Christensen told The Fresno Bee following Thursday's court hearing that his client suffers from mental illness. Christensen could not be immediately reached by The Associated Press to comment on the case.

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Information from: The Fresno Bee, http://www.fresnobee.com

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