Accused killer Danueal Drayton has been found mentally competent to stand trial in Los Angeles, a judge announced Friday.
The Brooklyn man who allegedly murdered Queens nurse Samantha Stewart inside her Springfield Gardens home last July then flew to California and allegedly raped and tried to kill a woman in North Hollywood appeared in a courtroom Friday as the judge reinstated his criminal case.
The case had been put on hold in August after his defense declared doubt about his mental state.
Drayton, 27, was dressed in a quilted blue jail smock Friday and stood silently in shackles as the judge briefly addressed him.
“Mr. Drayton, do you agree that we can to continue your matter to the date of Dec. 5?” Judge George G. Lomeli asked.
“Yes,” Drayton said after a short pause.
Drayton has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, forcible rape, false imprisonment by violence and sexual penetration by a foreign object in Los Angeles.
“The criminal case is back on track and we are ready to proceed,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Elan Carr told the Daily News after the hearing.
Carr handed over discovery to Public Defender Tyree Campbell, including a disc containing an interview with the alleged victim in the case.
Campbell declined to comment on Drayton’s mental status when approached by The News.
Drayton was arrested in Los Angeles on July 24 after NYPD detectives investigating Stewart’s murder tracked him to the apartment building in North Hollywood.
The fugitive task force that nabbed him ended up rescuing the 28-year-old woman he was holding against her will in a two-day hostage ordeal inside her own residence, police said.
In addition to Stewart’s murder, Drayton also allegedly choked an ex-girlfriend in Nassau County and raped an unidentified Brooklyn woman, authorities has said.
Drayton appeared in court July 30 and moaned loudly while strapped to a chair as a public defender entered the not guilty on his behalf.
He remains in custody on $1.25 million bail.
Stewart, 29, was found strangled and battered inside her Queens home on July 17.
He claimed he didn’t want to strangle her but was compelled by “voices” in his head.
“I really liked her. I didn’t want to kill her,” he told The News while seated behind a glass partition at the Twin Towers men’s jail in Los Angeles. “They told me she had to die.”
Drayton, 27, said he choked Stewart then tried to resuscitate her. Eventually, her body went “stiff” he said.
“I’m a passenger in my own body,” he said multiple times, claiming the voices hijacked his self-control.
“It’s mind control,” he said. “They use direct energy weapons on me to control my mind.”
Drayton claimed he suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar II disorder.
He claimed he used some bleach to partially clean up the crime scene at Stewart’s house, but Drayton said he intentionally left his “Egyptian cologne” behind in the hopes police could link it to him.
“I wanted to get caught. I took some of her things with me and used them. I kept my same phone. I knew they could track it. I didn’t know how long it would take,” he said.
Drayton faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 23 years to life in state prison if convicted in Los Angeles as charged.