After being on hold for months because of concerns about his mental state, a judge ruled recently that the criminal case can continue against a 21-year-old man accused of going on a deadly stabbing spree in October.

The defendant, Yohance Sharp, is accused of threatening or attacking eight people with a knife during a violent rampage that ended with him allegedly chasing a victim across the sand on Alamitos Beach.

His charges include five counts of attempted murder, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of murder. Police have said the attacks were unprompted and against people he didn’t know, including 62-year-old Tina Hook, who was left dead on an Atlantic Avenue sidewalk just south of Anaheim Street.

Sharp pleaded not guilty to the charges shortly after his arrest, but the criminal case against him stalled in December when his attorney questioned whether Sharp was mentally competent to stand trial. In California, this can trigger a pause in the criminal proceedings until defendants can be evaluated and treated, if needed, to make sure they’re mentally well enough to understand what’s happening and participate in their own defense.

After a court-appointed psychiatrist examined Sharp, a judge ruled he was well enough that the case could continue, and on Feb. 17, the proceedings resumed, court records show. After the delay, the case against Sharp is still in its early stages. Attorneys have yet to set a date for his preliminary hearing, where a judge will hear whether there’s enough evidence to proceed with a full trial.

It’s not clear what prompted Sharp’s attorney to question his mental competency. The prosecutor on the case and Sharp’s attorney did not respond to messages from the Long Beach Post.

Sharp’s girlfriend, Yessenia Partido, previously told the Post that Sharp suffers from schizophrenia, and he’d gone off his medication before the alleged stabbing spree.

Sharp has remained jailed in lieu of $7.065 million bail ever since his arrest on Oct. 17.

This case is not the first time Sharp has been accused of attacking someone with a knife.

Records from the Hawthorne Police Department show that in July 2020 he was arrested after starting a fight and then wielding a knife as he chased someone through a park. In that case, Sharp pleaded no contest to assault likely to cause great bodily injury and was sentenced 292 days in jail, court records show.