David Attias’ preliminary hearing was rescheduled last week after the murder suspect threatened to “harm himself” May 29, according to the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Dept.
The 18-year-old former UCSB student faces 13 felony charges, including four counts of murder, for a Feb. 23 accident on Sabado Tarde Road that killed four pedestrians and left one seriously injured. The preliminary hearing, originally scheduled for May 30, was postponed to June 28 after Attias made threats the evening before, Lt. Mike Burridge said.
“He missed the court date [May 30] because he was saying some stuff about harming himself, but because it pertains to his medical and mental health, I can’t really talk about it,” Burridge said. “He was placed in a safety cell where he’s unable to harm himself – it’s padded. He was in there for not even 24 hours, from 9 p.m. to four the next day.”
Burridge said while the Santa Barbara News-Press, on May 31, ran a story reporting Attias had taken ibuprofen in an “apparent suicide attempt,” earlier this spring, the Sheriff’s Dept. does not believe Attias has tried to take his own life.
“[Attias] did take 10 ibuprofen at one time, which he is allowed to buy through [the jail] commissary, but I don’t know about a suicide attempt – he didn’t call it one, and we didn’t,” Burridge said.
According to Burridge, the suspect is normally housed in an isolation cell in order to protect his safety.
“His normal cell is a one-man isolation cell in the main jail. People who are in [isolation cells] are serving offences such as a charge of murder,” he said. “They’re housed in isolation because it’s less of a risk for them – if someone else in jail wants to harm them, or they want to harm someone else.”
The hearing will take place June 28 in the Santa Barbara Superior Court downtown.