A homeless Vancouver man has been found unfit to stand trial for attempted murder and hate crime, so the judge has dismissed the charges.
Zeberiah N. Cameron, 42, was at Western State Hospital and had his mental state evaluated. After almost four months in the hospital, staff recommended to the court that he was not competent enough to aid in his own defense, despite treatment.
Clark County Superior Court Judge David Gregerson dismissed the criminal charges on Friday and ordered Cameron be held at the state hospital to be evaluated for a civil commitment.
Around 7:50 a.m. Aug. 7, Vancouver Police Department officers responded to Living Hope Church, 2711 N.E. Andresen Road, for a report of an assault with a weapon. Officers found a man sitting near the church putting pressure on a knife wound to his shoulder and upper back area with a lot of visible blood, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The victim told police Cameron stabbed him while he was helping Cameron unzip a tent in a city-sanctioned homeless camp in the church’s parking lot. They argued. Then Cameron told the victim he was going to kill him while holding a multitool with a serrated knife blade, according to court records.
Two witness intervened, and one of them grabbed the knife from Cameron, the affidavit states. Police approached Cameron as he was walking away.
Cameron told police he had been planning to kill the victim for the past two days, according to court records. He claimed the victim was a part of a “homosexual regime” that targets homeless people. He also told police the victim got water into his tent. Cameron had unsuccessfully attempted to stab the victim once before, according to the affidavit.