Former Marine ruled incompetent to stand trial for fatal stabbing


A former Marine accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend’s grandfather and wounding her mother in their University City home nearly two years ago is mentally incompetent to stand trial, a judge ruled Monday.

Mark Daniel Lim, 26, will be sent to Patton State Hospital for up to nine years or until he regains his competency, Judge Frederick Maguire said.

After reviewing a doctor’s report, the judge ruled that Lim did not understand the charges against him and could not assist his attorney at trial.

Lim is accused of going to the home of his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend, Jenny Seto, on April 6, 2008, a day after he allegedly told her he planned to kill her because he couldn’t get her out of his mind.

The day of the attack, Lim allegedly stabbed her 71-year-old grandfather, An Phung, and her mother, 43-year-old May Ai Phung. Seto was at work when her family members were attacked, according to court testimony.

Lim didn’t like Seto’s grandfather because he smoked, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in 2008.

The day before the attacks, Lim drove Seto to his work and said he was going to kill her, she testified. Seto said she thought Lim was going to go through with the threat, but one of his friends showed up and drove him away.

Lim is charged with murder, attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, making criminal threats, burglary, and misdemeanor vandalism and battery.

The defendant served honorably in the Marine Corps for 4 1/2 years, including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to court testimony.