Combs declared not competent to stand trial on lewd conduct charges
A man facing charges of sexually molesting a young Taft girl has been declared incompetent to stand trial and will instead by sent to a state hospital.
The decision was handed down at a hearing held in Kern County Superior Court in Bakersfield last week.
Jerry Leon Combs, 69, is scheduled to be taken to Patton State Hospital and could spend as long as 16 years in the facility.
That's the same amount of time he would have faced in prison for the lengthiest prison sentence he would have faced if convicted.
Combs is charged with continuous sexual abuse of a minor and three counts of committing lewd acts with a child under 14.
Combs was arrested in Missouri earlier this year, six months after the investigation began.
The case was first reported in July of 2010.
Deputies said the victim told investigators she had been abused over a three-year period.
Combs was arrested at that time but was released pending further investigation.
Combs moved to Missouri before deputies obtained a warrant for his arrest.
They were able to locate the suspect after receiving a letter from him with a Missouri postmark.
Combs was returned to California and booked into the Kern County Jail on Jan. 20.