Atascadero man ruled sane at time of murder
March 11, 2015
The insanity defense did not succeed in the murder trial of an Atascadero man who shot and killed his neighbor.
On Tuesday afternoon, a San Luis Obispo jury ruled that Mark Andrews, 51, was sane when he killed Colleen Barga-Millbury, 52, in 2013. Andrews now faces 50 years to life in prison, according to a district attorney’s office news release.
Defense attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu argued that Andrews, who suffers from schizophrenia, should receive mental health treatment, rather than imprisonment. During the trial, Funke-Bilu said his client believed that God commanded him to kill Barga-Millbury.
Andrews also believed that he was a werewolf and Barga-Milbury was a vampire, Funke-Bilu said. But, prosecutors pointed to a recording produced after the murder in which Andrews told his mother that he believed what he did was wrong.
Psychologists disagreed over Andrews’ sanity. Two psychologists testified that he was sane and two testified that he was insane.
In order for the insanity defense to have succeeded, Funke-Bilu would have needed to convince the jury that Andrews did not know whether his actions were legally or morally wrong. The burden of proof fell on Andrews and his attorney during the sanity portion of the trial.
Late last month, the same jury convicted Andrews of first degree-murder. Andrews also received an enhancement for discharging a firearm and causing death.
The murder conviction and the enhancement each require sentences of 25 years to life, according to the district attorney’s office.
Judge John Trice is scheduled to sentence Andrews on April 21 at 8:30 a.m.