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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Accused Wife Killer|Ruled Insane

FAIRFIELD, Calif. (CN) - A suspected methamphetamine addict who told authorities the devil made him kill his wife was ruled insane in a brief Solano County Court hearing, according to the Fairfield Daily Republic. Juan Jaimes-Mendoza pleaded no-contest to first-degree murder charges early last week, on the eve of his trial.

Mendoza, a horse trainer with a sixth grade education, allegedly shot his wife Maria in the head on Mother's Day 2010, in their home near Travis Air Force Base, according to the Republic. His "delusional behavior was witnessed by family members and friends in the months leading up to the killing," Deputy District Attorney Krishna Abrams told Judge E. Bradley Nelson during the hearing, the paper reported.

Three psychiatrists who examined the suspect agreed he was delusional, the Daily Republic said. "Family members at previous court appearances described Jaimes-Mendoza talking about God and the devil, as well as describing people following him and people waving at him from his television," according to the story.

"Attorneys agreed on Tuesday to submit a variety of mental health and psychological reports that support his admission that he was insane at the time of the killing," according to The Reporter, a Vacaville paper.

Instead of the maximum 50 years to life in prison the judge had earlier told the suspect he would face, after Thursday's ruling, it is likely he will be sentenced to a state hospital for an indeterminate amount of time, the Reporter story said.

"The finding of insanity by Judge E. Bradley Nelson means Jaimes-Mendoza will be sent to a secured mental hospital instead of prison. It also means that if doctors ever deem him sane, he could be set free," cautioned the Daily Republic.

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