In this file photo, Jon Christopher Blaylock, 35, looks back during his arraignment at West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga. Blaylock is charged
In this file photo, Jon Christopher Blaylock, 35, looks back during his arraignment at West Valley Superior Court in Rancho Cucamonga. Blaylock is charged with the January 10, 2005 killing of Correctional Officer Manuel Gonzalez inside the California Institute for Men in Chino, where Blaylock is an inmate. (Marc Campos/Staff Photographer)

FONTANA - Some doctors testified Jon Christopher Blaylock believes he's a member of Dutch royalty and that prison guards are out to kill him.

Others said he's an inmate who has learned to manipulate the system, faking medical issues and causing court delays.

Jurors decided Wednesday the latter explanation was closer to the truth.

Blaylock was deemed mentally competent Wednesday and criminal proceedings were reinstated against him. He will stand trial for the Jan. 10, 2005 murder of Manuel Gonzalez, a correctional officer at California Institution for Men in Chino.

The trial resumes Jan. 11.

"Even on his best days, he can't get off his delusions about correctional officers," said Mario Martinez, one of Blaylock's two attorneys.

Gonzalez, 44, of Whittier had allowed Blaylock out of his cell in an attempt to quell racial tensions inside the prison just before he was stabbed.

Blaylock is charged with fatally stabbing Gonzalez four times. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The case has faced numerous delays through the years, in part because prosecutors improperly obtained Blaylock's confidential psychological records. Much of the San Bernardino County District Attorney's Office was recused from the case as a result.

Despite a ruling by Superior Court Judge Ingrid Uhler in 2007 that there was enough evidence to hold Blaylock over for trial, proceedings didn't begin until October.

And in order for Blaylock to be found mentally competent enough to stand trial, jurors had to decide whether Blaylock understands the proceedings, can assist his defense attorneys in the case and grasps the consequences of the charges, among other issues.

Martinez described Blaylock as a man whose delusions about correctional officers would hinder his ability to help in his own defense.

"You're talking about someone who for the last 26 years has spent less than a year outside of prison," he said.

Martinez acknowledged that Blaylock's mental issues - which include delusional disorder and anti-social personality disorder - wax and wane, giving him periods of lucidity. He also said that medications have helped his conditions.

"But it doesn't cure the delusions. They're still there," Martinez said.

Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Youngberg argued that Blaylock was competent enough to stand trial because he understands the charges he's facing, he knows the attorneys on both sides, and is aware that he could receive the death penalty.

Youngberg said the doctors hired by the defense provided testimony that backs up arguments made by Blaylock's attorneys - but that came with a high price tag.

One doctor, Youngberg said, earned more than $12,000 for his testimony, and the doctor only spent 45 minutes with the defendant.

"Be critical of expert testimony," she said.

Blaylock has not testified in his defense.

Youngberg said he provided statements made by Blaylock to doctors that show he's able to make rational statements.

While describing his reaction to several medications, Blaylock said, "I don't have anger flashes. I don't have depression or anxieties. I have good judgment and reasoning skills."

She says that Blaylock is able to have a normal conversation when he wants to.

"He has shown that when he doesn't get his way, he will manipulate people and the system," she said.


Reach Melissa via email or call her at 909-386-3878.

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