John Thomas Christiana, the man arrested in connection with a series of vandalized cars parked at local trailheads, is now set for a court trial to determine whether he is competent to face the criminal charges against him.
Christiana is accused of multiple acts of vandalism at local trailheads. After taking reports of windows smashed out of vehicles at local trailheads in late August and over Labor Day weekend, Inyo Sheriff Deputies arrested the 47 year old San Francisco resident in Lone Pine on September 7th.
Roughly twenty vehicles were vandalized at the Big Pine Creek trailhead over Labor Day weekend 2008. Windows were smashed out and gas lines were reported to have been cut. Christiana was also charged with vandalism of a Jeep at Lake Sabrina and possession of a pistol stolen from a residence on Glacier Lodge Road out of Big Pine.
At the time of the arrest, there was much public speculation that this case might be connected to the vandalism of the White Mountain Research Station and the fire that destroyed the Schulman Grove Visitor Center. No charges related to these incidents have been filed.
At last word the 47 year old had undergone psychological evaluation. A mountaineer who has climbed Everest, Christianas myspace blog stated that he thought the U.S. Government had planted a chip in his brain to read his thoughts.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Johnson reports that criminal proceedings have been suspended until the court makes a determination as to the competency of Christiana.
So far Christiana has been charged with grand theft, vehicle theft, burglary, and receiving stolen property, along with possession of a stolen pistol, and vandalism. He remains in custody.
The competency hearing is set for April 16th.