A Bakersfield woman charged with murder in the slaying of her 2-year-old son has been found competent to stand trial and will next appear in court with her boyfriend, also charged in the boy's death.
Superior Court Judge Jerold L. Turner said Monday he's reviewed reports from a psychiatrist who examined Ayled Chavez and from Kern Regional Center and has found she's competent and not eligible for the center's services.
The center is contracted by the state to "coordinate community-based services and support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families," according to its website.
Chavez, 19, stood by defense attorney Richard Terry as Turner ordered her back to court Wednesday for a hearing with Kaleb Kessinger, 20.
The two are accused of killing Ramon Angel Reyes-Chavez then dumping his body in the Kern River Canyon.
Chavez told police she left Ramon in the care of Kessinger in late April while she went out to dinner with a friend. Kessinger is not the boy's father.
When she returned, she noticed injuries to Ramon's head and face, she told investigators. The boy died that night.
They left his body in a car until the next morning then drove to the Kern River Canyon and dumped the corpse, according to court documents. She said they returned to the spot later the same day and buried the body.
In determining competency, a judge weighs evidence, including the testimony of doctors, and determines whether a defendant understands the criminal proceedings against them and can assist in the preparation of a defense. If Chavez had been found incompetent, the criminal proceedings against her would have been suspended and she would have been placed in a state hospital.
Chavez at first reported her child had been kidnapped, but soon admitted to lying, court documents said. She was arrested after leading police the morning of April 26 to where Ramon's body was buried.
Police tried to contact Kessinger at his residence in the 3400 block of Nighthawk Lane on April 25, but he fled, leading officers on a chase that ended when he crashed near Calloway and Olive drives.
Kessinger ran from his car and eluded authorities for over a day. Then officers received a tip where he was staying and arrested Kessinger at a motel on Oak Street the morning of April 27.
Chavez and Kessinger are both charged with first-degree murder and face life terms in prison if convicted. Chavez is held on $1 million bail, and Kessinger on $1,055,000 bail in the homicide and a separate case in which he's charged with grand theft and weapons offenses.