LANCASTER, Calif. — A 22-year-old Altadena man, who’s accused of killing a woman and three of her daughters before setting their Lancaster home ablaze, was ordered to a state mental health hospital until he’s considered competent to stand trial.
Corey King was evaluated by psychiatric experts who recommended mental health treatment. Prosecutors will receive periodic updates on King, who will stay at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County until it’s determined he can assist with his own defense.
King was charged in September 2008 with four counts of murder and could potentially face the death penalty if convicted.
In addition to the murder counts, he was charged with arson and grand theft auto. The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and torture of two of the victims, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
King was arrested the day after the four bodies were found on Sept. 9, 2008, inside a burning home in the 1500 block of East Avenue J-3. He surrendered to sheriff’s officials after hearing his name mentioned in connection with the blaze.
King was 18 when he allegedly used a knife to kill Sonya Durfield Harris, 42, and her children, Ebony Horton, 13, Melina Harris, 11, and Kayla Clark, 9, before setting the house on fire. He also allegedly stole the family car and abandoned it about a half-mile from the home.