The man accused of the stabbing death of another man in a restaurant on the Ventura beach promenade last April wants his case moved out of Ventura County.
Lawyers for 49-year-old Jamal Jackson are asking the judge to grant them a change-of-venue for all future proceedings in the case, including a trial, should it come to that.
Right now, criminal proceedings against Jackson are on hold while the lawyers battle over whether he is mentally competent to face those charges.
Jackson is charged with first-degree murder in the April 18, 2018 stabbing death of 35-year-old Anthony Mele of Ventura.
Prosecutors say Mele was sitting in the Aloha Steakhouse on the Ventura beach promenade with his five-year-old daughter on his lap when Jackson is alleged to have entered the restaurant and fatally stabbed Mele.
The killing ignited a firestorm of anger over what some claim is a critical problem with dangerous homeless people who are allowed to roam free and cause problems in Ventura.
Jackson's attorneys raised the question about whether their client has mental problems that prevent him from aiding in his defense and understanding the charges against him.
A court-appointment psychologist who examined Jackson concluded he may be faking his mental illness but he does need to be medicated.
Prosecutors want a second opinion.
Defense attorneys want this issue and all future proceedings in the case to take place somewhere other than Ventura County.
They say all of the publicity surrounding the case makes it impossible for Jackson to receive fair treatment in a Ventura County court.
With the criminal proceedings suspended, for now, both sides will be back in court next year to deal with the dispute over Jackson's current mental competence.