Santa Maria hatchet murderer facing release

November 14, 2014

Nicholas BendleThe doctors of a former altar boy who killed a senior citizen in a random hatchet attack in Santa Maria five years ago have recommended that their patient be released, a decision that is now under the purview of the courts.

In 2009, then 20-year-old Nicholas Bendle attacked and partially decapitated a 69-year-old man who was taking a morning walk.

Before the killing, Bendle was active in his church, had a girlfriend and was attending community college while holding down a job. Then, the death of a close friend shortly before the killing is suspected of triggering the onset of schizophrenia, which often occurs in a person’s 20s.

During his trial, Bendle plead guilty and blamed undiagnosed paranoid schizophrenia for the attack. Attorneys on both sides agreed Bendle was insane at the time of the killing.

Since 2011, Bendle has been intense psychiatric treatment Patton State Mental Hospital in San Bernardino County. A treatment multiple doctors say Bendle has had a “complete recovery.”

On Thursday, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge John McGregor postponed ruling on the release of Bendle, saying he needs time to review various medical reports.


I only see one way to solve all these THINGS that are resolved with meds. As a lot of people have stated and I agree totally, is that you are relying on the patient to take the meds. and if they don’t there could be problems. So I say if you could install an internal distribution of the meds. kind of like a pain pump and they get it weather they like it or not then MAYBE but if not or till then, then sorry I don’t see how you can let them out and they can be trusted.

Spirit Filled

If he does happen to kill again I think the doctor or doctors ought to share his cell. Also

the doctors should be sued til it hurts.

God Bless


He was sane enough to grab the hatchet and use it on an innocent, unsuspecting victim.

Keep him locked up, or put him in a confined halfway-house where his ‘treatment’ doctors would have to live with him 24/7 and observe ALL of his behaviors.


WOW!!! I don’t know what scares me more. This guy getting released or the fact that in this case I agree with Slower 100% on his comment.




I’m glad Charles Manson didn’t have those same doctors………..keep them both locked up.


My niece is bipolar so I have some idea of mental illnesses.

so when this guy gets released and is no longer taking his meds, because he thinks he is “cured” who will be his next victim?

Sorry to say there is no such thing as complete recovery that I know of. Med’s help sometimes, but you have to take them.

So a close friend dies and all a sudden this alter boy, who has a gf, is holding down a job just snaps and takes a hatchet to some old person? Something does not sound right with this story, I think he needs to serve out his sentence for murder.

I don’t want him in my backyard sorry to say. We are letting to many out because they claim mental illness.


How do the Doctor’s know how he will behave outside the walls of Patton? Will he be taking anti psychotic drugs that he himself will be administering?

How many times have we witnessed persons with sever mental illness re-commit horrific crimes because they stopped taking their meds, or were not provided the proper diagnosis at walk-in clinic or emergency room.

I would be very cautious regarding the decision to set him free.


Now that he has gotten the medical help he needed, when will he begin serving time for the crime he committed?


Very logical question. Unfortunately, as you likely know, because of his insanity he was not responsible for his actions and will be a free monster (er.. man).


Are these doctors willing to let the hatchet murderer stay with their families upon his release?

Are they willing to stake their careers that he is cured? Are they willing to explain their rationale to the family of the victim? Are they willing to assume liability if he kills again?

They should have to.