Cambria murder suspect deemed incompetent

December 13, 2012

Brandon Henslee

A San Luis Obispo Superior Court judge ruled a Cambria man suspected of murdering his brother last August is incompetent to stand trial. [Tribune]

Judge Jacquelyn Duffy found Brandon Henslee, 22, not currently able to assist in his own defense because he is mentally incompetent. Henslee will now be sent to a mental health facility to receive treatment.

In the future, if he is able to assist in his own defense, he will return to court.

Henslee was released from Atascadero State Mental Hospital about six months before he is suspected of murdering his younger brother, Tyler Hanks, 20. During the months before his arrest, Henslee would talk to himself and run empty appliances such as the washer and dryer for hours, Henslee and Hanks’ mother Sheri Grayson said.

Henslee had tried to get help for his mental illness more than a year ago, and checked himself into county mental health seeking a transfer to an out of county longer term facility. However, a nurse at county mental health said Henslee acted in a threatening manner and he was sent to jail.

In a series of killings blamed on a half-dozen different mentally ill suspects over the past few years in San Luis Obispo County, seven people have lost their lives. Meanwhile, funding for county mental health services has dwindled.

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I feel for the family in this. You lose one son to murder and you lose the other son, to mental disease, which caused the former. Sad situation.