(XTribune) There was an alarmingly simple reason that Jeremiah Bell beat a white 54-year-old grandfather to death with a baseball bat at the end of April.
A San Bernardino County judge has expressed doubt about the mental competence of a Fontana man accused of a hate crime in the fatal baseball-bat beating of a 54-year-old grandfather in Rialto this week.
Police say Jeremiah Bell, 22, went out Sunday looking to attack “anybody who wasn’t black.” On a residential street just a short walk from his apartment, they say, Bell, who is black, found Armando Barron, who is Latino, walking home from the grocery store, and attacked him about 2:30 p.m.
Barron died of his injuries at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center on Thursday, the same day that Bell appeared in court to be arraigned on attempted murder charges with an enhancement for use of a deadly weapon. He was also charged with a hate crime.
During the hearing, Superior Court Judge Jon D. Ferguson ordered the proceedings delayed until a court-appointed psychiatrist could evaluate Bell, court minutes show. He had pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors plan to file murder charges against Bell once reports confirming Barron’s death are submitted, a district attorney’s spokesman said.