A judge on Feb. 26 ordered a mental competency evaluation for a man accused of killing his mother with a hammer and mutilating her body in her Solana Beach home.
Bryan Chenhua Chang, 28, is charged with murder in the death of 60-year-old Sherry Chu Chang, whose body was found Jan. 25 at her home on Santa Florencia near San Elijo Lagoon. A co-worker went to the victim's residence after she failed to show up for work, then had deputies check the house.
At Chang's arraignment, prosecutor Rachel Solov told Judge Joan Weber that the defendant cut off his mother's right arm and part of her skull and put them in a refrigerator.
Solov said the mother and son may have had a disagreement over his financial support.
Detectives said Chang may have used claw hammers in the killing, and a large serrated knife was found in the sink.
Bloody fingerprints on blinds in the home led authorities to the defendant, who was arrested at his Los Angeles home two nights later.
A doctor will examine Chang to see if he understands the charges against him and can assist defense attorney Kathleen Cannon at trial. A hearing was scheduled for April 5 at the downtown courthouse.
Chang is being held on $5 million bail and faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted.
— City News Service