Los Angeles County judge ruled on Friday that accused rapist and killer Danueal Drayton, 27, is mentally competent to stand trial for the murder of Queens nurse Samantha Stewart inside her home last July.
According to the New York Daily News, Drayton then flew to California and allegedly raped and tried to kill another woman he held against her will after they went on a date, prosecutors said.
Police believe he used a dating app to target victims in his bi-coastal crime spree.
According to New York Police Department Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea, “The common denominator” in the murder and rape cases in New York “is dating websites.” Shea said at a press conference last week.
“This individual is known by us and it is believed by us that this individual uses dating websites to meet women and then victimize these women,” he added.
The case against Drayton was placed on hold in August when his attorneys expressed concern about his competency and the court ordered a psychiatric exam.
Drayton became a prime suspect while NYPD was investigating the murder of 29-year-old Samantha Stewart after her body was discovered by her brother.
“As that investigation went forward it came together with a separate, uninvolved, unrelated investigation from the 78th precinct in Brooklyn from several weeks earlier involving a rape case,” Shea said.
“Right after he commit a gruesome murder here and destroy my family, he went to California and just almost did the same thing,” Samantha Stewart’s father, Kenneth, told CNN affiliate WCBS.
Drayton was arrested in North Hollywood, CA on July 24.
“Thank God they catch him before he could destroy another family,” he said.
During a jailhouse interview with The News back in July, Drayton admitted to killing Stewart after meeting her through a dating app. He claimed he didn’t want to strangle her but was compelled by the “voices” in his head.
“I really liked her. I didn’t want to kill her,” he told The News. “They told me she had to die.”
Drayton recounted how he choked Stewart then tried to resuscitate her but eventually, her body went “stiff” he said.
“I’m a passenger in my own body,” he said of the voices. “It’s mind control,” he added. “They use direct energy weapons on me to control my mind.”
Drayton, who claimed he suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar II disorder, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him: attempted murder, forcible rape, false imprisonment by violence and sexual penetration by a foreign object
He faces 23 years to life in prison if found guilty. His bail has been set at $1.25 million.