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Mental health of man accused of stabbing security guard being evaluated

Joseph Espinoza appears in court Wednesday, September 13, 2017, at the Regional Justice Center in Las Vegas. (Bradford Boyer/KSNV)

The mental health of the man accused of stabbing a strip security guard is now being looked into. The mental health ruling was made by a judge Wednesday in court.

Throughout the case, Joseph Espinoza's defense lawyer has told the judge his client suffers from mental illness. Before this case can continue moving forward the judge is ruling to have professionals evaluate his mental state.

In early August, police were called to the casino floor of The Palazzo after a security guard there was stabbed in the chest.

The victim, 25-year-old Tim Kennedy, was in court today. He faced the defendant from a wheel chair.

RELATED LINK | Homeless man to police: 'I am not sorry' for stabbing Strip security guard

The police report from the alleged attack says casino security was called to remove Espinoza, who they described as a homeless man who had been repeatedly trespassing.

As Kennedy approached Espinoza, at a slot machine, the man allegedly lunged towards him and began stabbing.

The suspect ran out of the casino and was arrested near the Mirage Las Vegas.

RELATED LINK | Homeless 'erratic' man stabs Palazzo security guard in the chest

The police report also documents Espinoza telling police he was in The Palazzo because "it is my hotel" and that he "did not feel sorry" for what he had done.

Court records show this isn't the first time Espinoza has been accused of doing something like this. In 2015, he was arrested for attempting to stab a security guard at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Espinoza will have his mental health evaluated by doctors over the next few weeks. After reading their reports, a judge will then determine if he's mentally fit to continue on with the case.

If he's found to be incompetent to stand trial on Oct. 6, he will be sent to a mental hospital for treatment until he is.




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