NORWALK – The trial of a homeless man accused of intentionally starting a fire that destroyed the Beverly Boulevard bridge was delayed Wednesday in Norwalk Court due to doubts over the man’s mental competence. Nelson Gastelum, 29, is charged with one felony count of recklessly starting the Nov. 1 fire. He was arrested Nov. 4. He had been living under the bridge, which spans the Rio Hondo channel between Pico Rivera and Montebello, for a year, authorities said. “My client is unable to assist in his own defense,” Roberto Guaderrama, Gastelum’s attorney, said Wednesday. Guaderrama asked for a suspension of criminal proceedings until his client’s mental status could be determined. To bolster his request, Guaderrama pointed to Gastelum’s history of mental illness, which his family testified to during his preliminary hearing on Dec. 19. At that time, Gastelum’s brother, Mario Gastelum, testified his brother was “different.” Other relatives testified that they knew Gastelum was living under a bridge. At the time of his arrest, Gastelum told police he had lighted a fire to keep warm. But at his arraignment, he pleaded not guilty, claiming that another homeless man ignited the blaze by tossing a burning cigarette under the bridge. Norwalk Court Judge Larry S. Knupp granted the suspension of Gastelum’s trial for six weeks while the defendant undergoes evaluation by two psychiatrists. A hearing was scheduled for April 4 in Norwalk Court, at which the psychiatrists will report their findings regarding Gastelum’s fitness to stand trial, said Guaderrama. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!