This photo released Tue. Jan. 29, 2013 by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department showing Stanwood Fred Elkus, 75, of Lake Elsinore who was arrested Monday, Jan. 28,2013, suspected of killing Dr. Ronald Franklin Gilbert, 52, of Huntington [auth] Beach at the medical office in Orange County on Monday Jan. 28,2013. (AP Photo/Orange County Sheriff’s Department)
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) — A retired barber accused of fatally shooting a California urologist in an exam room was a patient of the victim and brought the gun to his medical appointment, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Stanwood Fred Elkus, 75, was charged with murder in the Monday attack that killed Dr. Ronald Gilbert.
The 52-year-old doctor was shot multiple times in the upper body at his office in the affluent city of Newport Beach in suburban Orange County.
Elkus, of Lake Elsinore, appeared in court Wednesday afternoon and told a judge he couldn’t afford an attorney, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands in his pockets and appearing dazed until he loudly asked for a public defender, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Superior Court Judge Craig Robinson postponed his arraignment until March 5. He was being held without bail.
Elkus had an appointment with Gilbert and waited in the exam room with a handgun before opening fire when the doctor walked in, prosecutors said.
He then gave the gun to another staff member at the medical office and was arrested quietly, authorities said.
Elkus had long suffered from prostate problems and was upset about his incontinence after a recent surgery, his neighbors said. It wasn’t clear if Gilbert performed the surgery on Elkus or how long the doctor had treated him.
Matt Murphy, the deputy district attorney prosecuting the case, didn’t immediately return a call seeking further comment.
Elkus’ health problems left him running for the bathroom constantly, sometimes in mid-conversation, neighbors said.
“One day we were talking about other things outside and he says, ‘Oh hold it right there!’ and he was rushing to his house and when he came back, he said, ‘I have a problem with my prostate,'” recalled Miguel Soto, who lives across the street.
“He said, ‘I had surgery and now I am worse than before the surgery.'”
Another neighbor, James Lord, said Elkus mentioned Sunday that “he wasn’t going to be around much longer.”
“I told him, ‘No Stan, you’re gonna outlive me,'” Lord said.
Gilbert worked in general urology, sexual dysfunction and related surgical techniques, including vasectomies, bladder and prostate cancer, according to his biography on the website of the Orange Coast Urology Group, which he joined in 1993.
One of his specialties involved using a laser to vaporize prostate tissue blocking the urinary tract.
The biography said Gilbert had been a stockbroker and a singer in a rock band. He had worked for 20 years at Hoag Hospital and was its former urology chief.
Jablon reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Shaya Tayefe Mohajer in Newport Beach and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York City contributed to this report.