Hearing postponed in Patterson kidnap case

local@modbee.comJuly 29, 2013 

A mental competency hearing on Monday was postponed until Sept. 10 for a defendant accused of participating in a kidnap-for-ransom plot in Patterson.

Jonathan Figueroa, 22, of Modesto is one of four suspects who have been charged with kidnapping for ransom, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.

Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Scott Steffen said in court Monday morning that officials need more time to evaluate Figueroa's mental health to determine whether he's mentally fit to be prosecuted. It's unclear why Figueroa's mental competency has come into question.

Authorities said the suspects took the victim from his rural home in Stanislaus County on June 15 and drove the man to a Patterson home, where they assaulted him for nine hours because they believed he had stolen from them.

The other defendants in custody, Arturo Martinez, 19, of Modesto and Adan Esquivel, 21, of Patterson, are scheduled to return to court Aug. 20 for a pretrial hearing.

As of Monday afternoon, Stanislaus County sheriff's officials had not found the fourth suspect in the kidnapping, Victor Sandoval, 21, of Patterson.

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