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California Radiologist Who Drove Off Cliff with Family Avoids Trial,

todayJuly 2, 2024 20

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Screenshot 2023 02 01 at 1.45.07 PM

Dharmesh Patel, the California radiologist accused of driving his car off a 330-foot cliff with his family inside, will not face trial. On Thursday, the court granted Patel, 42, a mental health diversion, acknowledging evidence of his major depressive disorder, as confirmed by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

Patel had pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder after the January 2023 incident. He was accused of deliberately driving off the Pacific Coast Highway and plunging over a cliff at Devil’s Slide in San Mateo County. Remarkably, Patel, his wife, and their two children, aged 4 and 7 at the time, survived the crash.

San Mateo Superior Court Judge Susan Jakubowski ruled that Patel qualified for mental health diversion due to his condition. The proposed treatment plan was deemed suitable to meet his needs. “Weighing all factors, the court determined the defendant was suitable and granted the defense request for mental health diversion,” stated the district attorney’s office in a news release.

District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe expressed strong opposition to the mental health diversion and sought a trial for Patel. “But under California’s diversion law, the court makes the decision,” Wagstaffe told NBC News.

Patel will stay in jail for several weeks before being released to his parents’ home in San Mateo County, under strict conditions. He is ordered not to leave the residence, report to court weekly for progress updates, undergo twice-weekly medication compliance tests, abstain from alcohol and drugs, and surrender his driver’s license and passport.

Patel is scheduled to return to court on July 1, when further details of his release will be decided.

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Written by: Ag Entertainment

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