Father charged with drowning daughter in baptismal fountain found mentally incompetent

SANTA ROSA (KRON) — A man accused of drowning his 4-year-old daughter in a baptismal fountain in November has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial on Monday.

Forty-two-year-old Gerardo Ordaz of Healdsburg is charged with the murder of his daughter.

Ordaz was found naked and yelling for help, with his daughter in his arms, in a parking lot behind the Healdsburg police department on Center Street at around 8 p.m.

His 9-year-old son, who was partially clothed, was also with him.

Ordaz will return to Sonoma County court on Jan. 11 to determine where he will be placed until he is competent to understand the charges against him.

Many defendants are placed in Napa State Hospital until they are found mentally competent. Deputy District Attorney Jason Riehl said Ordaz could be hospitalized there up to three years, but there are exceptions in homicide cases.

Ordaz is charged with the murder of his daughter, Maria Jose Ordaz-Chavarria, at St. John the Baptist’s Church in Healdsburg and willful infliction of emotional distress of his 9-year-old son on Nov. 20.

He is being held with no bail.

Ordaz told Judge Arthur Wick this morning he will continue taking prescription medications.

The first doctor to speak with Ordaz indicated he appeared to be mentally incompetent and criminal proceedings were suspended.

In a report on Monday, another doctor who examined Ordaz said he was mentally incompetent, Riehl said.

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