Thursday, March 15, 2012
© Copyright 2013
Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE -- The competency trial of Flavio Pena, accused of kicking a man to death in 2007, is scheduled to begin next week.
If it's held, the jury trial will determine only if Pena is competent enough to face murder and aggravated assault charges. The original competency proceedings were originally scheduled to be held last November, but were continued due to a death in the defense attorney's family.
Pena was supposed to face an actual trial three years ago this month, but his defense filed a last-minute motion for psychological evaluation.
The Lawrenceville resident is charged in the November 2007 fatal beating of 22-year-old David Cruz. Authorities believe Pena kicked the victim to death during a drunken roadside brawl on Arnold Road near U.S. Highway 29, where Cruz's body was found in a ditch the next day.
The two men were acquainted, but police have given no indication what allegedly set Pena off.
Pena has been held at Gwinnett County Jail without bond since the day Cruz died. A detained has also been issued by federal immigration authorities.