A judge in Fresno recently suspended criminal proceedings against a mentally ill man who is charged with killing his grandmother. It is the second time this year that Fresno County Superior Court Judge Alvin Harrell III suspended proceedings against Travis Fendley, 23, who attempted suicide in October by trying to cut his own throat. It was also reported that Fendley, who is being held without bail in the Fresno County Jail, hears demons talking to him. In April of this year Judge Harrell found Fendley legally incompetent to assist in his own defense.
Fendley was criminally charged last year in the killing of his grandmother, Joyce Frazier, 78, whereby he allegedly strangled inside her home one day after he had been released from jail.
Judge Harrell ordered Fendley to be examined, and also signed subpoenas so prosecutor Stephanie Savrnoch and Fendley’s defense team can look into Fendley’s mental health records.
According to Fendley’s family, he has a history of schizophrenia, and that when he was in jail he was not given the prescribed psychiatric medication he needed to control his symptoms, which included hallucinations.
Prosecutor Savrnoch stated that Fendley’s recent suicide attempt may have been an intentional act of “playing a game with the system or playing possum.” However, Fendley’s criminal defense attorney said his suicide attempt was real, and that she saw the stitches on his neck. She furthermore reminded the court of Fendley’s “long history” of schizophrenia and related mental health issues.
A hearing on Fendley’s mental condition is scheduled for November 25.