Dharmesh Patel, the Indian-origin doctor, who was accused of intentionally driving his car off a 330-ft cliff, will not face trial as he was granted a mental health diversion after evidence of major depressive disorder was established. Patel pleaded not guilty to three counts of attempted murder after he drove the car off a cliff at Devil’s side in San Mateo county last year.Inside the car were his wife and two children, aged 4 and 7 at that time. All four of them survived.
His wife previously argued for his release and said that she and their children need him in their lives. Earlier it was reported that Dharmesh drove off the cliff because he thought his kids would be sex-trafficked. Patel felt like the world was caving in because of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the fentanyl crisis, child sex trafficking, and Jeffery Epstein, according to prosecutors. His wife told investigators that he sent her news articles about those topics, and he struggled to sleep at night.
As of now, he would remain in jail for a few more weeks before he is released to his parent’s house.
Judge Susan Jakubowski said Patel was eligible for a mental health diversion due to his condition and that a proposed treatment plan would address his needs, the district attorney’s office said in a news release, as reported by NBC news.
“Weighing all factors, the court determined the defendant was suitable and granted the defense request for mental health diversion,” the release said.
The district attorney’s office “intensely” opposed mental health diversion for Patel and asked the court to bring him to trial for the three counts of attempted murder, District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe told NBC News. “But under California’s diversion law, the court makes the decision,” Wagstaffe said. The court has also ordered that Patel reports to court once a week for progress reports, tests twice a week “to show medication compliance,” abstains from alcohol and drugs and surrenders his driver’s license and passport.
Patel will return to court on July 1 where details of his release will be determined, per Wagstaffe.