This is a developing story. To read from the beginning, start at the bottom.
Canche trial delayed until October
May 23, 2022
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, a motion from defendant Alejandro Canche, a.k.a. Alex Canche, was heard to move the attempted murders trial scheduled to begin on July 1. The People (The State of California, the district attorney's office) did not have an objection. The trial is now scheduled for October 14, nearly 3 years after the assaults occurred.
Defendant Canche moves to postpone July criminal trial
Defense attorney files sloppy motion, was so “shocked” that mental health diversion was revoked that he neglected to advise judge of “prior obligation”
May 18, 2022
Alejandro Canche, the defendant in the 2019 attempted murders case, filed a court motion last week to postpone the criminal trial that is scheduled for July 1. The motion requests a new date be scheduled for September. Defense attorney Steve Teich, who says he has "practiced criminal law for over 43 years", filed the five-page motion on May 9. In it, Teich
- repeats arguments
- misspells his client's name
- forgets to change the name of his client in his signature
- makes typographical errors or uses wrong words
- incorrectly lists a Saturday as the start date of the trial
- twice states he is SHOCKED!! by a judge's rulings
- and three times admits that he has "neglected" to previously request a postponement.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer? Hum. Here's an excerpt from the sloppy filing:
Defense attorney Steve Teich states the following as "good cause" for requesting the continuance (postponement):
- "is necessary to allow counsel to fulfill a yearly obligation to rehearse and perform at a two-week encampment from mid to the end of July which needs to be paid for in advance."
- "Counsel, who has a yearly obligation to attend from mid to the end of July a large, organized encampment in northern California in which counsel is a necessary participant. The specific dates of the reservation need to be made before June 1 and paid for in advance."
- "Counsel never expected Mr. Canche would be terminated from the Diversion Program and neglected to take his yearly obligation into account when the trial date was set."
- "Similarly, Mr. Canche was offered 12 years at the pretrial conference on March 22, 2022, which after qualifying for mental health diversion shocked defense counsel and he again neglected to ask for a later trial date."
- "Given the sudden unexpected series of events defense counsel neglected to advise the Honorable Judge Lisa Novak of his July obligation when she was setting the trial date."
No description provided of this "organized encampment" or indication of any legal seminar or anything. "Organized encampment" sounds like an elaborate term for "vacation."
The defense attorney's brief is littered with statements untrue on their face.
The Motion states:"Mr. Canche unknowingly violated a protective order on his cousin and her boyfriend, issued two years previously, when he visited his grandmother's house where his cousin resided."
False. The cousin testified on November 12, 2021, that Canche violated the order four times, not once as Teich portrays. The restraining order was issued for three years and was in force when Canche is accused of violating it. The attempted minimization of the violation against his cousin demonstrates continued disregard and marginalization of his cousin.
The Motion states: "Other than this case he has no other criminal arrests or record."
Again, false. Court records show that Canche was arrested October 2, 2019, and charged with two offenses, which were pending when the three attempted murders occurred on October 28, 2019. Cache was out of jail on "his own recognizance" when he committed additional crimes.
Further, the San Mateo Police Department inventory of Canche's possessions when he was arrested included two business cards of a San Mateo County Probation Department employee and a San Mateo County Behavior Health & Recovery Services employee in his wallet.
The motion states: "Shockingly, Mr. Canche's [sic] was dismissed from the program against the recommendations of all his supervisory medical and legal personal [sic] due to an inadvertent violation of a protective order on his cousin. Given the sudden unexpected series of events defense counsel neglected to advise the Honorable Judge Lisa Novak of his July obligation when she was setting the trial date."
The motion further states:"Similarly, Mr. Canche was offered 12 years at the pretrial conference on March 22, 2022, which after qualifying for mental health diversion shocked defense counsel and he again neglected to ask for a later trial date."
The medical and legal witnesses are not qualified to testify whether Canche had violated the restraining order.
A self-proclaimed experienced lawyer who did not expect that termination could be the result of a termination hearing or that a serious plea offer was made by the prosecution is just not credible. Termination of Canche in the mental health diversion program was the whole point of the evidentiary hearing, yet Teich repeats his argument about how SHOCKED!! he was that he forgot to ask for a continuance of the trial. And is SHOCKED!! yet again at the pretrial conference after a serious plea offer is made by the prosecution. Teich is so busy clutching his pearls being SHOCKED!! all the time that he can't remember at both the termination hearing and at the pretrial conference to request a postponement of the trial, and it took him six months to recover from being SHOCKED!! to "remember" this other "obligation" and file a motion requesting a continuance. (Is a potential appeal being set up now to argue ineffectiveness of counsel?)
With these examples and more, there is only one conclusion: Steve Teich is lying.
It appears that the District Attorney will not be filing a motion to object to the postponement of this trial (as of this date, no objection has been filed), so the motion to continue (postpone) will likely be granted, as previous requests for postponement have. Accordingly, the trial will likely be delayed until at least September.
New charges added as Canche returns to court
Trial likely to be held this summer
March 22, 2022
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, defendant Alejandro Canche appeared for a hearing in the attempted murders case ongoing from 2019.
Canche has now been charged with disobeying a court order, or restraining order, that was issued in 2019 ordering him to not to have contact with any of the victims in the stabbings case. These new charges have been added as a new case, one that will "trail" the attempted murders case.
Plea offer made to defendant
On the record today, The People of California made a plea offer (a "plea deal" in lieu of going to trial) The offer was 12 years in prison to Alejandro Canche, which Canche neither accepted nor rejected.
Trial date set for July
The next hearing is scheduled for July 1, which is the official beginning of the trial. Sources say that the date is likely to be pushed out because of the number of witnesses and victims in this case.
Canche criminal proceedings to resume
November 18, 2021
Alejandro Canche appeared in a Redwood City courtroom today for part two of the evidentiary hearing to determine whether his mental health diversion would be revoked in the attempted murders case against him. At the end of the hearing, Canche was determined to have violated a protective order issued against him at the outset of this case.
Criminal proceedings in this case will resume. A pretrial conference was set for March 22, 2022, and a trial readiness conference for July 1, 2022.
Full story to come.
Canche evidentiary hearing held, in part
November 12, 2021
UPDATED: November 16, 2021
On Friday, November 12, in a Redwood City courtroom, multiple attempted murders defendant Alejandro Canche (also known as Alex Canche) appeared in a flannel shirt for an evidentiary hearing to determine if his release for mental health diversion will be revoked. The hearing unfolded over 3 hours, and both the prosecution and defense called multiple witnesses.
Before any witnesses were called, the court took judicial notice of the restraining order (protective order) that had been issued against the defendant in a hearing on October 30, 2019 (initially noted here) against all victims and a witness (Witness 1 below) and is set to expire on October 30, 2022. The document shows that it was personally handed to Alejandro Canche during the proceedings. (See checked box #3 below.)
Witnesses for the prosecution
The first witness for the prosecution (Witness 1) was a woman, a cousin of the defendant, who saw the first violent assault in the BJ's Restaurant parking lot on October 29, 2019. Witness 1 told how the the defendant on September 8, 2021, came to the home that Witness 1 shared with her grandparents (who are also the defendant's grandparents). This visit violates the protective order prohibiting the defendant from coming within 100 yards of the victims and witnesses.
Witness 1 testified how other family members had pressured her not to do anything about the restraining order violations, that she would be "causing problems" if she complained about the defendant's visits to the home. Witness 1 further testified that some family members, including Canche's mother, said that Witness 1 should move out of the house if she's uncomfortable.
Witness 1 described how Canche committed multiple violations of the restraining order, and she recorded video of at least two occurrences. Finally the violations culminated in a heated confrontation ("a screaming match") on September 25, 2021, the only time she has talked to her defendant cousin since the attack over two years ago. During this confrontation, she looked him in the face and said:
“Why do I have to pay for his consequences when he can’t pay for his?”
The defense attorney, Steve Teich, used eyebrow-raising tactics to try to impeach her testimony. Witness 1, a victim of a crime, had said she did not remember the exact dates of some of defendant Alejandro Canche's visits to the home, but did produce 4 dates of the visits.
The second witness for the prosecution (Witness 2) was a victim of the stabbing assault in the BJ's Restaurant parking lot. Witness 2 testified that he saw the defendant at the home at least four times. Witness 2 testified that Canche's mother "Sheila" said that she "didn’t give a fuck" about the restraining order, and that the house "is her parents’ house" and that that Witness 1 and Witness 2 "should leave if they don’t like that." Witness 2 reported four violations of the protective order to the district attorney's victim advocate.
Witnesses for the defense
Defense attorney Steve Teich had initially indicated he would be calling up to seven witnesses.
The first witness for the defense was Priscilla S., a jail social worker. This witness met defendant Alejandro Canche "briefly, once" upon his initial booking into jail. Her report said that Canche was banging his head, hands, and arms on a cell window and that "voices were telling him to hurt himself or others."
The second witness for the defense was Francoise E. When this witness was called, Judge Lisa Novak disclosed for the record that this witness had previously been the judge's law clerk for 6 years, including during the time the witness was going to law school. But here, this witness was Canche's initial court-appointed attorney. Francoise E. testified that she was unaware of the restraining order issued. (Court records show that Francoise E. was appointed the same day the restraining order was issued.) Francoise E. testified that she had first talked to Canche over the phone on October 30, 2019, and first met Canche in person on October 31, 2019, which the record shows is the day after her appointment.
The defense had also intended to call Dr Jeffrey Kline, but by the time he was called, he was not on the Zoom call.
At times, Teich seemed to struggle with his questioning of witnesses. Teich had frequently objected to Witness 1's testimony, which was overruled by the judge. Teich then asked the judge if he "should make a continuing objection," to which the judge replied "no" and laughed slightly, even incredulously. To a lay person, it was surprising to see a defense attorney liberally objecting to nearly everything said by Witness 1. Other questions were disjointed and lumbering: one line of questioning had a pause in the middle of the question that lasted at least 15 seconds.
The defense is arguing that the defendant was unaware there was a restraining order against him because it was issued two years prior when Canche was in a schizophrenic state.
Hearing is continued
The questioning of Witness 1 took longer than anyone expected, drawing a comment from Witness 1 that it was frustrating to be constantly interrupted (with the defense's objections). Judge Lisa Novak apologized to Witness 1 and added that it was part of the process.
The hearing had not concluded as the time approached 5:00 p.m. Judge Lisa Novak decided to conclude the hearing on Thursday, November 18, at 2:00 p.m. It will be the final continuance on this hearing.
Mental health diversion termination hearing continued
October 22, 2021
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, defendant Alejandro Canche's appeared in a flannel shirt and torn jeans for a hearing to determine whether his mental health diversion from criminal proceedings should be terminated for violation of a restraining order. Canche's defense attorney Steve Teich told the court that he had not received body-worn camera video from police officers. The deputy district attorney explained that final reports and video from a police department were not available, awaiting approval from a sergeant. The judge said she would grant the motion for continuance upon hearing that.“Did Alejandro Canche go to a protected witness's house? We don't deny that. The issue is did my client know that there was a restraining order?”
— Defense attorney Steve Teich
During further discussion with the judge however, defense attorney Steve Teich said "Did Alejandro Canche go to a protected witness's house? We don't deny that. The issue is did my client know that there was a restraining order? That restraining order was issued over two years ago while he was undergoing psychotic breakdowns. We have the evidence in medical reports, we have his lawyers who will be coming here to go through his conditions, how he was reacting, was he able to understand. We have the medical reports, what kind of drugs he was under. We have statements that he made to doctors that he had no recollection of anything after he was arrested."
The judge replied that "I'm just going to do one hearing. We're just going to do everything today or I'm going to grant your motion to continue. I am not going to have a bifurcated hearing. We're going to have one hearing on whether your client is in violation."
Teich requested at least four witnesses be ordered back on November 12. Teich argued that one county employee who Teich had subpoenaed had not appeared, and Teich wanted the judge to issue an Order to Show Cause for failure to appear. The district attorney said the county employee had not been properly served. The attorneys stepped outside the courtroom to see if their witnesses could come back on November 12. Teich stepped back in and said that "one of the witnesses said it's a court holiday, the 12th." The judge replied "Thursday the 11th is a court holiday." Teich replied, "So the courts are operating on the 12th?" The judge said "yeah."
The hearing was continued to November 12, 2021.
Canche moves to postpone evidentiary hearing
October 21, 2021
Yesterday at the Redwood City courthouse, multiple attempted murder defendant Alejandro Canche's defense attorney filed to postpone the hearing scheduled for tomorrow. Defense attorney Steve Teich alleged "the failure of the prosecution to provide the Court ordered [sic] discovery of the police report and statement of the complaining witnesses as well as the video recordings from the door of the subject premises."
Teich continues, "Defense counsel has dutifully reminded the district attorney of the order however the district attorney has not been able to provide defense counsel with the reports or video recordings." Teich requests a continuance of the hearing to obtain the evidence.
Also filed in this case yesterday is a "Complete Psychological Evaluation of Defendant Oct. 9. 2020 by Dr. Jeffrey Kline," which was initially mentioned by Teich over 18 months ago.
The hearing remains on the court calendar for tomorrow at 1:30 p.m.
“You're on notice that he's been violating”
Alejandro Canche's mother "doesn't give a fuck" about the restraining order
October 1, 2021
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, defendant Alejandro Canche personally appeared (in civilian clothing for the first time during these proceedings) for what was to have been his first progress report hearing in his mental health diversion for the three October 2019 attempted murders in San Mateo. But this turned out to be not a routine hearing.
The Deputy District Attorney (DDA) told the court that Alejandro Canche has violated the restraining orders (protective orders) of a victim and a witness in this case on at least 4 occasions. As recently as September 24, Alejandro Canche and his mother appeared at the home of a victim and witness in this case (the victim who was stabbed at BJ's Restaurant parking lot and the witness to that attack, Canche's cousin). The home appears to be the home of their (Canche and witness cousin's) grandfather. Canche and his mother were told that there is a protective order against Canche coming in close proximity to the victim and witness, to which the mother replied "I don't give a fuck about a piece of paper. I will continue bringing him here. He has a right to be here." The DDA said that the protected persons captured Canche's visit to the house on a ring.com doorbell video camera.
The DDA added that she will be looking at filing additional charges against Canche, violations of California Penal Code §166, Violating a Court Order. She closed with: "Our request is to set this for a hearing for termination. In the interest of the victims, you’re now on notice that he’s been violating."
Judge Lisa Novak said to Canche's defense attorney Steve Teich: "My inclination is to set a hearing whether Mr Canche should be terminated. I am not going to abide by any violations where someone’s safety or their sense of safety is put at risk for these individuals who are on mental health diversion. Somebody in your client’s position needs to abide by every word."
Steve Teich said that Mr Canche’s grandfather died, and his mother brought Mr Canche over to the grandfather's house "for the ceremony and get-together. Apparently there are some very bad feelings between the mother and her sister — there’s a lot of bad feelings after the death of their father. There seems to have been all sorts of problems. And we can settle that, but it has nothing to do with Mr Canche. Mr Canche was brought over to the grandfather’s house."
Judge Lisa Novak replied: "Where he's prohibited from being?"
EDITORIAL COMMENT: Here is a violent defendant who was released to the custody of his mother who "doesn't give a fuck about a piece of paper" and has "all sorts of problems."
Defense attorney Steve Teich's assertion that "we can settle that, but it has nothing to do with Mr Canche," is just WRONG: It has everything to do with Mr. Canche. The community should not be subjected to the release of a violent offender who is incapable of adhering to the restraining order — which are part of the terms of his release — and whose mother disregards the terms of that release. (Maybe the sister isn't fond of Canche's mother breaking the protective order against her daughter by the man who stabbed that daughter's boyfriend. Just a thought.)
THE COMMUNITY DESERVES BETTER THAN THIS.
A full evidentiary hearing is set for Friday, October 22, where both sides will be allowed to call testimony of witnesses and present whatever video evidence is available, including police body camera video, if available. Canche's mental health diversion release could be terminated at this hearing. If the mental health diversion is terminated, the criminal prosecution resumes.
Judge Lisa Novak releases Alejandro Canche, says “it's a close call”
Canche to be released to his home, not allowed access to sharp objects
August 27, 2021
Today in a Redwood City Courtroom, defendant Alejandro Canche made his latest appearance in the ongoing criminal attempted murders case against him. His lawyer had submitted an "application for mental health diversion," and the hearing on that matter was heard today. Judge Lisa Novak described the "voluminous amount" of paperwork submitted for this application for mental health diversion. Originally, the defense, who had made the application for diversion, only filed excerpted portions of a doctor's report and not the full report. The judge said she would not consider excerpts but only full reports, which the defense had remedied with a subsequent filing. Then, Judge Lisa Novak announced approval of the application, and that the criminal proceedings are suspended for up to two years.
Judge Lisa Novak began by saying she was going to release Alejandro Canche, announcing this prior to hearing from the prosecutor. The decision was made strictly by documents submitted to the court. With Judge Novak's approval here, the criminal proceedings are now suspended for up to two years to see how the mental health treatment progresses and if defendant Canche is compliant.
"First break with reality"
Judge Lisa Novak said in court today:
“What I see in this case that I don’t see in every mental health diversion application is where Mr Canche was in his first, what appears to be break with reality. That at 19 years of age, he was — for the first time — addressing issues of a mental health disorder (schizophrenia). Which is a serious one. Which is documented often begins in late adolescence. And I’m very sympathetic to Mr Canche and his experience of having to deal with this disease.
No history of violence preceding attack. Placed on psychotropic medication while in jail. Flags indicate Canche is going to be medication-compliant.
The assaults which form the basis of this complaint are terrifying. And I do not in any way mean to diminish the actual, physical, and psychic injuries suffered by the victims in the case. It is very startling and I think it speaks to why Mr Canche is, in my opinion, an appropriate candidate for mental health diversion. That these sad and terrifying assaults, unprovoked, occurred at the very same time he, with the help of his mother, had been seeking appropriate psychological help and it didn’t come fast enough.”
Judge Novak had concern: potential for “superstrike” as defined in the statute, and there is an expert opinion, more than one, in the application, which offers some support that he presents a low risk of committing a violent offense.
Prosecutor concerned that schizophrenic patients often stop taking medication
The prosecutor was going to call an expert witness, who apparently didn't want to testify, and this was met with a combative remark from Judge Novak to the prosecutor. The prosecutor addressed the court and recommend Pathways. She (the prosecutor) said that "on day of attack, Alejandro Canche had indicated he was no longer hearing voices, yet hours later, he stabbed three people. Two of the victims' lives have been very altered."
The prosecutor continued: "The defendant stood purposely in the bicycle path to stop [bicycle path victim 1] and then attacked [bicycle path victim 1]. The other victim[bicycle path victim 2] reported that the defendant attempted to elicit sympathy, the defendant saying that [bicycle path victim 1] had attacked him [the defendant].
Regardless, the prosecutor voiced her concern for public safety, that "the defendant will decide that he’s OK, that he’s no longer hearing voices, as many schizophrenic patients do. Once the symptoms go away, they decide they no longer want to be on medication. And that’s a concern. I think Pathways is a much better option in terms of justice for both the victims in terms of accountability and rehabilitation for the defendant."
To which the judge replied:
Judge Lisa Novak:
“It’s a close call. And I am very mindful of the injuries to the victims. The stab wounds, the victim who was stabbed 23 times, I cannot imagine what that person experienced. But these cuts were superficial. I am not convinced he was not in the throes of a schizophrenic break, and that he wasn't hearing voices. That is what my understanding is. This is a close call. It doesn't give me comfort to know that someone who actually perpetrated these horrific assaults may not be found legally culpable in a criminal court down the road if he successfully completes diversion.”
Yet, Novak, despite her expressed mindfulness of victims' injuries, her discomfort, and knowing that she may be allowing Canche to avoid justice, ordered Canche's release for Thursday, September 2, 2021, at 9:00 a.m., to his home after, as a condition of his release, the San Mateo County probation department makes a visit to the home and determines that Canche's access to sharp objects has been eliminated.
“Canche is prohibited from having any sharp implements, scissors, box cutters, knives (other than a butter knife), anything with a blade. The family is going to have to lock up all such implements before he is released from custody.”
The orders on the release of Alejandro Canche included: Canche cannot move from the home without notifying the mental health team but he is free to leave the home. Canche will report to probation. He shall follow directions from Probation department. He shall follow all orders of the Court. He shall submit to treatment and counseling as directed. He shall take all prescribed medications. He shall obey all laws. He shall not possess dangerous or deadly weapons. He shall not possess any ammunition or explosives. He shall not possess knives, box cutters, scissors. Any such devices shall be maintained in a locked compartment that he will not have access to. Intensive Mental Health Diversion team will make unannounced visits to home. He shall not possess or consume alcohol or controlled substances including marijuana. He shall submit person, residence, or vehicle to search procedure at any time of day or night without a warrant without reasonable or probable cause. He shall pay restitution to victims totaling $6,250.68.
A progress report review with the defendant was scheduled for October 1 at 10:30 a.m.
Judge Lisa Novak to Alejandro Canche:
“I've shared at the bench with the attorneys that irrespective of my sympathy that I have for the situation that you found yourself in, I’m not comfortable doing what I’m about to do. You have to understand that a lot of people are taking a lot of risks to ensure that the maladaptive behavior resulted from this break never happens again. But the most important player in that team is you. Are you willing to do all of the hard work to make sure that you never hurt anybody again?”
Time will tell.
“Complete psychological evaluation” submitted for Alejandro Canche
Defendant in stabbings case
August 20, 2021
Yesterday, two filings were submitted to the Superior Court of California, County of San Mateo, branch in the case of Alejandro Canche, the defendant accused of multiple stabbings in San Mateo almost two years ago.
One document submitted is the “Complete Psychological Evaluation in support of Application for Intensive Mental Health diversion.” This appears to be the defense's argument for why Alejandro Canche should be removed from the criminal proceedings and granted psychological treatment in lieu of criminal proceedings and punishment.
The other filing is “People's Opposition to Defendant's motion for Mental Health Diversion.” This is the prosecution's objection to a diversion (which could effectively dismiss all charges).
The “Mental Health Diversion suitability Hearing” is scheduled for Friday, August 27, 2021. Alejandro Canche remains in custody at the San Mateo County jail.
Canche “mental health suitability” hearing held. Trial date vacated.
June 25, 2021
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, defendant Alejandro Canche appeared for a "mental health suitability" hearing. Canche appeared via audio/video. A licensed clinical social worker for San Mateo County also appeared at the hearing: her Linked In profile shows her title as "Mental Health Program Specialist, Pathways Mental Health Court Supervisor." (The San Mateo County Court website has an outdated and limited page discussing Pathways.)
In keeping with the established pattern in this case, another hearing has been set for August 27, 2021.
The trial date set (as well as all other pre-trial conferences) for October 15, 2021, has been vacated (canceled) without a new date being set.
Judge grants mental health diversion suitability hearing to Canche
June 10, 2021
Alejandro Canche appeared via video conference today in a Redwood City courtroom for a mental health diversion eligibility hearing. The District Attorney's office appeared at the hearing, but did not make an argument against the motion seeking the mental health diversion.
Judge Susan Greenberg granted the request, deeming Canche "eligible" for a full hearing to see if Canche is "suitable" for such a diversion. The next hearing was scheduled for June 25 at 10:30 a.m. with Judge Lisa Novak for a full "suitability" hearing.
Both defense attorney Steve Teich and Judge Susan Greenberg did not know or understand the next steps because, as Teich said, "this is a new program." Teich also wanted to determine that the June 25 hearing was not the final hearing, to which Judge Greenberg replied that it is not. Judge Novak will determine the next hearings on suitability, and the June 25 hearing is an initial hearing and not the full hearing.
Defense attorney requests “mental health diversion”
June 1, 2021
UPDATED: June 2, 2021
The defense is now asking the court to release the defendant Alejandro Canche to a mental health treatment program in lieu of being sentenced in a criminal court for the attempted murder of three people in San Mateo.
On May 24, Alejandro Canche's defense attorney filed in San Mateo County Superior Court a "Motion for prima facie finding of eligibility for intense mental health diversion Welfare & Institutions Code §4361 and Penal Code §1001.35, and Penal Code §1001.36."
A hearing on this matter is scheduled for June 10.
UPDATE: Sources say that this hearing is part of a two-part process. The June 10 hearing will determine eligibility for the program (i.e., does the defendant have a doctor's report?) and are the legal applications, or motions, made.
Then it will go to a full hearing where another judge, in this case Judge Lisa Novak, to determine the defendant's suitability (i.e., how would defendant's release affect the community?) for release. If this hearing becomes contested (the district attorney's office is contesting the defense's motions) and depending upon the number of motions filed, witnesses called, etc., it could delay the start of the defendant's trial, currently scheduled for October 15.
Sacramento County Superior Court has a full explanation of their process, which may slightly differ in San Mateo County.
Alejandro Canche trial date set for October 15
May 21, 2021
Nearly two years after the attempted murder assaults at Edgewater Isle, the trial of defendant Alejandro Canche has been set for Friday, October 15, 2021.
Two charges against Alejandro Canche are dismissed
March 23, 2021
UPDATED: April 28, 2021
The latest hearing in the Alejandro Canche attempted murders case was held in a Redwood City courtroom yesterday. Defendant Alejandro Canche appeared via video. His defense attorney Steve Teich appeared personally, asking the judge where he was supposed to stand. Judge Susan Greenberg told him to stand "by a microphone."
At the outset, Judge Susan Greenberg said she was concerned about "enhancements": the judge was concerned about some of the charges against the defendant that specifically pertain to the two victims who were stabbed along the bike path.
The prosecutor stated that the defendant used the same method on all three victims: attack by ambush. Defendant took a series of actions to attack the first victim along the bike path: Canche stepped in front of the bike rider and made decision to force victim off of his bike and jump on top of him. Canche is accused of stabbing the bike rider 23+ times, all while the victim was wearing a helmet, protecting from greater level of injury. The defendant is then accused of drawing in a passer-by, stabbing him in the neck.
“If you're going to kill someone, you don't use a box cutter.”
Defense attorney Teich argued that there was no premeditation to kill. Teich also argued that the weapon used, a box cutter, is "a work tool." "If you're going to kill someone, you don't use a box cutter."
The prosecutor countered by saying that many stab wounds to the head, neck, and face, is not consistent with arguing that Canche was not trying to kill.
Judge Susan Greenberg dismissed the "premeditation" part of the attempted murder charges in regards to victims 2 and 3 (the victims along the bike path at Edgewater Isle) and left it standing for victim 1, the first victim at the San Mateo parking lot of BJ's Restaurant.
UPDATE: A pretrial conference has been rescheduled from April 5 to May 10 at 1:30 p.m. The defendant remains in custody at San Mateo County Jail on $10,000,000 bail.
Trial date closer for suspect in attempted murders
January 8, 2021
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, attempted murders defendant Alejandro Canche appeared via video for a hearing. The defendant waived arraignment on the charges and the right to a speedy trial (normally 60 days after arraignment).
A pre-trial conference was set for April 5, 2021, and a trial readiness conference was set for July 9, 2021.
Canche held to answer for stabbings
November 30, 2020
UPDATE: December 3, 2020
In a Redwood City courtroom on November 13, a preliminary hearing was held for Alejandro ("Alex") Canche who is accused of multiple stabbings in San Mateo in 2019. The prosecutor called two police officers to the stand to testify about the aftermath of what they witnessed and experienced the night of October 28, 2019, along the bike path at Edgewater Isle.
One San Mateo Police officer testified that one of the victims of the assault had endured more than 20 stabbings, some hitting the victim's bicycle helmet, and enduring multiple wounds requiring a stay at Stanford Hospital.
Defense makes incredible statements
The defense attorney Steve Teich argued to the court that these assaults should not be considered "premeditated attempted murder" because the defendant did not know the victims, the defendant could not have planned the attacks because he did not know the victims, and that the "manner of attack" (stabbing with a box cutter) should not be considered for premeditated murder because Teich alleged that "Nobody uses a box cutter for premeditated, deliberated murder."
Steve Teich forgot about 9/11 hijackings
Most of us remember planes being jacked by men with boxcutters who murdered pilots to crash planes into buildings. Steve Teich argued "The statistics show that the use of knives is not usually something that is used for premeditated murder," while failing to provide any evidence or source for that statement. He further argued that while it may have been 23 cuts inflicted by Canche, a lot of them were superficial.
The judge was not impressed with this argument:
MR. TEICH: I don't think there's any evidence he intended to kill him. Certainly, no premeditation ahead of time.
THE COURT: The Court respectfully disagrees. When you stab somebody 23 times in the neck and head area, that you are trying to kill them.
Canche was held to answer (this is going to trial). The next hearing is December 3.
UPDATE: December 3, 2020: The hearing scheduled for today has been rescheduled until January 8, 2021.
Preliminary hearing date set for Alejandro Canche
October 7, 2020
In a Redwood City courtroom this morning, Alejandro Canche appeared via video conference at a hearing to set the date for the preliminary hearing in the attempted murders case and the two other cases pending against him.
Defense counsel Steve Teich said that a long-awaited report medical report from Dr Jeffrey Kline is still not in.
After multiple continuances, the preliminary hearing date was finally set for Friday, November 13 at 9:00 a.m. The defense intends to call one witness. The preliminary hearing is estimated to take 4 hours.
Canche remains in custody at the San Mateo County Jail with bail set at over $10,000,000. He has turned 20 since being held in jail.
Canche attorney apologizes: doctor is “very busy” and going on vacation.
September 1, 2020
Alejandro Canche's defense attorney Steve Teich appeared in a Redwood City courtroom today in the ongoing attempted murders case at Edgewater Isle. Canche appeared via Zoom video conferencing.
Teich explained that he has been waiting for a doctor's report. (Previous court records show the doctor as Dr Jeffrey Kline.) Just yesterday, Teich received word from that doctor that the report is not done. Teich explained that he had been assured by this doctor that the report would be completed by this date. But after Teich emailed the doctor "a number of times," the doctor finally replied yesterday that he (the doctor) has not completed the report because "he's very busy." And that the doctor "is going on vacation until late September."
Teich continued "I regretfully I have to ask the court to continue until early October, and I apologize to the court, counsel, and Mr Canche, but this report is critical as to how we're going to proceed. I've been assured that the report will be done by then." The People objected: "this has been put over a number of times for this very reason," but that objection appeared to be more for the court record than a bona fide objection.
Back on June 11, Teich said to the court:
"Dr Kline apparently now believes he can now conduct a psychiatric examination of the defendant during the week of June 15"
And back on August 7, Teich said to the court:
"...so we will have all the information in that time ...."
Teich did not say that the report *may not be ready* by September 1, but said that they would have "all of the information" they needed to proceed.
The matter was put over again, this time until October 7 at 9:00 a.m.
Canche preliminary hearing date held over, again
August 7, 2020
This morning in a Redwood City courtroom, Alejandro Canche appeared via Zoom video call to set the date for a preliminary hearing in the attempted murders case that occurred at Edgewater Isle in October 2019.
At the hearing, Canche's defense attorney Steve Teich seemed to speak to Canche in a childlike manner. Teich said to Canche: "Yesterday we discussed putting this matter over for three to four weeks until we could receive the report and then set the preliminary hearing. Remember we spoke about that?"
Canche replied "yes."
Teich then said "Okay, so that's what we're gonna do today. We're gonna put it over with your permission 'til September 1, which is three and a-half weeks to set the preliminary hearing so we will have all the information in that time to speak with you. Do you have any questions about that?"
Canche replied "no."
Next hearing is Tuesday, September 1.
Medical records received in Canche case
August 3, 2020
San Mateo County Superior Court, who is hearing the Alejandro Canche attempted murder cases, has indicated it has received the medical records that were sought by defense attorney Steve Teich, who had indicated on July 16 that he wanted a doctor to review them prior to setting a date for the preliminary hearing.
The Court indicates the records were received on July 23, so the upcoming hearing on August 7 should allow the preliminary hearing date to finally be set.
Medical records received in Canche case
August 3, 2020
The Court hearing the Alejandro Canche attempted murder cases has indicated it has received the medical records that were sought by defense attorney Steve Teich, who had indicated on July 16 that he wanted a doctor to review them prior to setting a date for the preliminary hearing.
The Court indicates the records were received on July 23, so the upcoming hearing on August 7 should allow the preliminary hearing date to finally be set.
Canche preliminary hearing set date continued, again.
July 16, 2020
In a Redwood City courtroom today, Alejandro Canche appeared for a hearing intended to schedule a date for a preliminary hearing in the attempted murders case. Canche's defense attorney, Steve Teich, was appearing via Zoom, and he did not answer when the case was originally called. The case was passed to the end of the hearings.
When the case was called again, Steve Teich apparently had troubles with the Zoom video conferencing and did not appear. The deputy district attorney said that she spoke with Teich this morning, and that medical records have not been received. Teich had said he needs a doctor to review the records prior setting a date for the preliminary hearing. In what has become almost predictable, the hearing was not set and continued (rescheduled) again to August 7 at 9:00 a.m.
Another hearing date set for Alejandro Canche
June 30, 2020
In a Redwood City courtroom this morning, Alejandro Canche appeared (via video) along with his defense attorney, Steve Teich, for a motion to compel production of evidence in Canche's attempted murder case.
The prosecutor representing The State of California did not have objections to the evidence that Teich sought, but that some of it had not been received: in particular, both sides are seeking medical records of the stabbing victims. The judge ruled the motion to compel to be moot and set another hearing to set the preliminary hearing date on July 16.
San Mateo Police Department statement on crime scene evidence
June 16, 2020
The San Mateo Police Department said in a statement responding to a question about the motion to compel production that they have "sent 34 digital recordings to the DA's office between 10/28 – 10/30/2019, and we received one investigative follow-up request on 4/16/2020."
Canche defense files a motion to compel production of crime scene evidence
June 12, 2020
Steve Teich, defense attorney for Alejandro Canche, late yesterday filed a motion to compel certain crime scene items from the San Mateo Police. Teich alleges that the San Mateo Police Department has not provided legally-required items to the defense. The motion states:
Defendant has previously requested photos taken of the crime scenes and evidence in the above entitled case by San Mateo Police Officers XXXXXX and xxxxxxx . Defendant has also repeatedly requested the digitally recorded statements from the three victims in this case: (1) xxxxxxxxxxxx and his girlfriend xxxxxxxx , (2) xxxxxxxxxx , and (3) xxxxxx recorded by Officer xxxxxxxxx xxxxxxxxx of the San Mateo Police department....
Teich's motion is also requesting "court help" in obtaining the medical records of the three attempted murder victims.
Canche hearing continued, 4th time
June 11, 2020
Alejandro Canche appeared via video in a Redwood City courtroom this morning in front of Judge Jeffrey Finigan to set the date for a preliminary hearing in the pending attempted murder case and two other cases charged against him. For the fourth time, the date was not set but continued (postponed) to a later date.
Canche's defense attorney, Steve Teich, said the psychiatrist who would be doing an examination of the defendant has not been able to visit the defendant because of coronavirus in the San Mateo County Jail. The psychiatrist, Dr Jeffrey Kline, was first appointed or contracted back on or around February 5, 2020, over four months ago, before coronavirus was classified as a pandemic on March 11, 2020, and six weeks before San Mateo County issued its shelter-in-place order on March 17, 2020. Dr Kline apparently now believes he can now conduct a psychiatric examination of the defendant during the week of June 15.
Teich also said that he has not been able to get from the San Mateo Police the video statements of the three victims in the attempted murder case, and he would be filing a motion to compel production of these video statements. A hearing for the motion to compel, along with a hearing to set a date for the preliminary hearing, will be held on June 30.
Canche remains in custody at the San Mateo County Jail with bail set at over $10 million.
Hearing again delayed
April 8, 2020
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, the date to set a hearing for Alejandro Canche was again continued. This time to June 11, 2020.
February 13, 2020
On Tuesday, in the case against Alejandro Canche for the multiple stabbings at Edgewater Isle, a judge filed an order vacating the court-appointed psychiatrist for Alejandro Canche.
The defense attorney Steve Teich had filed a motion for a court-ordered psychiatrist, requesting one of three doctors: Dr Rami Mogannam (identified in court filings as a clinical forensic psychologist), Dr Doug Korpi, or Dr Jeff Kline to:
“...provide the defense with information needed so that the instant attorney [Teich] can be advised whether to enter a plea of insanity or present a defense based on his [Canche's] mental emotional condition.”
Teich further says:
“Defendant is indigent. He qualified for the County Defender. His family was able to put funds together to hire private counsel but could not afford to hire a psychotherapist to advise counsel.”
The court order of February 11, 2020, vacates the court order filed on February 7, 2020. The new court order states that the “Defendant should contact the Private Defender Panel to have them provide ancillary services to obtain and pay for such a doctor.”
February 5, 2020
At a hearing today in Redwood City, a court-appointed doctor was ordered to examine Alejandro Canche in accordance with California Evidence Code §§1017(a), EC 730, regarding the three violent stabbings on October 28 charged against Canche.
During the next hearing on Wednesday, April 8, a twice-delayed preliminary hearing may finally be set. Cache remains in custody on $10,075,000 bail for his three pending cases.
Bail set at $10 million for Canche
January 22, 2020
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, Judge Jeffrey Finigan set bail at $10 million for Canche's release. Judge Finigan believes that this not a case that continues to merit a “no bail” hold as allowed under the California constitution.
Also during today's hearing, Steve Teich, the defense attorney for Alejandro Canche, filed a declaration under seal, as he had hinted about in the last hearing on January 8. Teich's motion asks for the court to pay for a psychiatrist for Canche in some manner: details are unclear as his motion is under seal.
The next hearing is scheduled for February 5.
Canche pleads not guilty
January 8, 2020
Today in a Redwood City courtroom, Alejandro Canche's defense attorney, Steve Teich, entered “not guilty” pleas in the three violent cases pending against Canche, including the stabbings at Edgewater Isle. Teich also requested to have an ex-parte matter heard, but the deputy district attorney objected and the judge denied it, saying “that's not how we do things here.” Teich appeared to say that he'd make his application outside of this hearing.
On January 22 at 9:00 a.m., Canche is scheduled for a further hearing in Redwood City to set a date for a preliminary hearing.
GoFundMe campaign established for Canche defense
Cousin claims that Canche is “hearing voices”
December 27, 2019
A GoFundMe campaign has been established for Alejandro Canche's defense in the stabbings that occurred in San Mateo on October 28.
Angela Lopez, who identifies herself as Canche's cousin, said on GoFundMe:
“He is currently fighting a case for attempted murder and yes this sounds very bad but he is truly a good kid. He started in September to act mentally ill, hearing voices etc.”
Court records show that Lopez is not the same cousin who was in the car with Canche when the attack occurred on October 28.
The fund was established on December 20, 2019, shortly after Canche's last court hearing. At that time, Canche's new attorney, a private attorney, substituted in for the prior attorney, a public defender (known as a "private defender" in San Mateo County). It is unknown why the family replaced a public defender with a private attorney, only to solicit funds for that new attorney. As of today, the fund has not received any donations.
You can see the compete posting here: [WAYBACK MACHINE ARCHIVED LINK:] https://www.gofundme.com/f/alejandro-canche or the archived link.
Canche plea delayed for 4th time
December 19, 2019
Alejandro Canche's plea to the multiple stabbings at Edgewater Isle on October 28 was delayed yesterday for the fourth time. Canche's new defense attorney, Steve Teich, said the defense will revolve around a “mental health” issue. Teich wanted the opportunity to review “voluminous" records, and he was “unaware of the other cases” and had not seen the complaint “on the last one” (Canche was accused of assaulting a sheriff's deputy while Canche was in custody).
Hearing rescheduled to January 8. Canche remains held without bail at the San Mateo County jail.
Canche plea delayed again; 3rd case filed
December 10, 2019
Multiple stabbings suspect Alejandro Canche appeared in a Redwood City courtroom today to enter a plea on two cases currently pending. Instead of entering a plea, Canche substituted his public defender for a new defense attorney, and he was also charged with a third case of violence.
Today's case filed against Canche is for a violation of Penal Code § 69(a):
Every person who attempts, by means of any threat or violence, to deter or prevent an executive officer from performing any duty imposed upon the officer by law, or who knowingly resists, by the use of force or violence, the officer, in the performance of his or her duty, is punishable by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
The new complaint filed against Canche shows that on November 6, 2019, while in custody for the assaults at Edgewater Isle, Canche assaulted "by means of force or violence" an officer in the performance of his duty. Canche's behavior was alluded to in the story below dated November 6, 2019, discussing that court appearance. Bail was set at $25,000 for this third case.
Canche now has three violent cases filed against him in one month. He remains in custody in the San Mateo County jail on a "no bail" hold because of the three stabbings on October 28.
The next hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 18.
Canche hearing continued, again
November 7, 2019
Alejandro Canche appeared in a Redwood City courtroom today, and his private defender Francoise Espinoza asked the court to delay Canche's plea in the stabbing case that occurred (in part) at Edgewater Isle. Espinoza asked the court to hold over Canche's plea until a hearing on December 10.
That hearing will be combined with another hearing that was already scheduled in Canche's prior case.
All prior orders remain in effect: the defendant is held in custody, no contact orders (against witnesses and victims), and no bail.
Canche hearing continued
November 6, 2019
Alejandro Canche briefly appeared in court today wearing an orange jail-issued jumpsuit to enter a plea in the multiple attempted murder charges facing him, but before his hearing could take place, he was removed from the courtroom holding cell and transported back to the county jail. A deputy said that Canche was “hitting his head against the wall” and was “trying to start a fight with another inmate.”
Francoise Espinoza, a Redwood City defense attorney appointed to represent Hernandez through San Mateo County's Private Defender Program, requested to the judge that Canche's two pending criminal cases be combined. Canche's hearing was rescheduled for tomorrow to enter a plea. Canche continues to be held without bail at the San Mateo County Jail, but was granted $50,000 bail for his previous case, and his status of “OR” (“own recognizance” ) was revoked because of his most recent case.
October 30, 2019
Alejandro Canche was ordered held without bail at a hearing this afternoon in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City. Canche was charged with 2 felony counts (along with enhancements for each) for each of the 3 male victims, or 6 felonies in total.
Further, a “no contact order” was filed and a private defender appointed. The next hearing date is November 6, 2019, when it is anticipated Canche will enter a plea.
Canche committed this crime while having been released “on bail or his own recognizance” for a similar prior crime. That was added as an enhancement in the most recent case.
Alejandro Canche's previous stabbing case
October 30, 2019
Before Alejandro Canche was arrested at Edgewater Isle on Monday night, he was arrested by the East Palo Alto Police Department on October 2, 2019, and subsequently charged with two counts currently pending in San Mateo County Superior Court for violations of Penal Code §417.8 and §69, attempting to resist arrest by drawing a knife on a police officer.
Canche pleaded “not guilty” to these charges and was released “on bail or his own recognizance.” The next hearing in this case is scheduled for December 2, 2019.
One unanswered question: what was the East Palo Alto Police Department attempting to arrest Canche for?
Alejandro Canche arrested after random stabbings
October 29, 2019
San Mateo Police provided additional details on last night's stabbings at Edgewater Isle. The number of victims was changed from four to three.
In what apparently began as family dispute last night, the suspect Alejandro Canche stabbed his cousin's boyfriend in the neck at the nearby BJ's Restaurant before he took off on foot to Edgewater Isle, where he randomly stabbed two additional victims along the bike path before running into the lagoon where he was captured by police.
Alejandro Canche, 19, of East Palo Alto, has been charged with Penal Code §664/187(a) (attempted murder) and §PC 245(a)(1) (assault and battery), both felonies. He is being held without bail in Redwood City and has his first court appearance tomorrow, October 30.
In 2005 in an unrelated case, a suspect previously fled police and drowned in the lagoon attempting to escape.
Source: San Mateo County Sheriff
Suspect in custody after 4 people stabbed
October 28, 2019
In what was called a“major police department response,” the San Mateo Police Department, with a mutual aid assist by the Foster City Police, responded to a stabbing assault that began at nearby BJ's Restaurant and then continued as the suspect fled along the bike path near 2143 Vista Del Mar at Edgewater Isle at 7:58 p.m. this evening.
Police sources say that 4 people were involved in the stabbing assault by the suspect, and all victims have non-life-threatening injuries.
The suspect has been arrested on attempted homicide charges, with more charges potentially being added as the investigation continues.
Residents in the area first reported on social media that they saw a large police response speeding by as citizens tried to piece together what was going on. Citizens were first to report (using the "Citizen" app) that the incident was a stabbing.
Source: Edgewater Isle resident