Thursday, April 8, 2010

Kendall, FL: Kendall man who killed girlfriend ruled not guilty by reason of insanity



A Kendall man was insane when he stabbed his girlfriend to death because he believed she was part of a FBI conspiracy, a Miami-Dade judge ruled Thursday.
Claudio William Torres, 55, was charged with first-degree murder in the March 2008 slaying of Maria L. Herrera, 48, at their Kendall home.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzer on Thursday ruled him not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors had agreed with the decision after court-appointed psychologists agreed he was insane at the time of the slaying.
The victim's family also agreed to the ruling. Torres will be sent to a state psychiatric hospital for indefinite care.
``It's a fair result because he'll get the help he needs,'' said his defense lawyer, Alexander J. Michaels. ``In spite of what he did, he's not a bad person.''
Michaels said Torres' case was unusual because Torres' paranoid schizophrenia, a mental disorder that blurs the line between reality and fantasy, did not appear until his early 50s.
Torres, a car mechanic with no criminal history, told Miami-Dade detectives he stabbed her to death with a kitchen knife because she was in on a FBI plot to arrest him for illegally having cars parked in his backyard.
The murder came two days after Torres was hospitalized at Jackson South Community Hospital under the state's Baker Act. The law allows authorities to commit someone to a hospital for up to 72 hours for a mental health exam if they believe the person is a danger.
But Torres was released after only one day.

No comments: