In a jailhouse conversation with his mother, an Atascadero man accused of killing his neighbor said he wanted to “plead guilty, be executed and die,” according to an audio recording played for jurors Wednesday.
Mark Andrews, 51, has been charged in the shooting death of Colleen Barga-Milbury on May 22, 2013. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
According to previous trial testimony, the victim’s teenage son found her lying near the front door after coming home from school. While Andrews initially denied any involvement in the shooting, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office says physical evidence found in his bedroom matches evidence found at Barga-Milbury’s home.
Two days after the killing, investigators found ammunition in Andrews’ room matching that found at the homicide scene. They also found a nutcracker doll they believe Andrews stole from Barga-Milbury’s home after the killing.
Never miss a local story.
While Andrews allegedly confessed to investigators, that evidence was not allowed in court. The prosecution was allowed to present jurors a recorded conversation between Andrews and his mother from May 25, 2013.
“I just want to be executed and die,” Andrews told his mother.
“Why do you want to say that?” his mother replied.
“I just want to die. … I want my life over with. Forever.”
“Please don’t say that.”
Andrews, who was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric hold in 2009, lived with his mother. After the killing, investigators questioned both Andrews and his mother as they canvassed the neighborhood seeking clues.
“He seemed a little nervous. Quiet,” said Mike Hoier, a detective with the District Attorney’s Office. “He denied any involvement.”
Andrews told Hoier he had been interviewed by a KCOY reporter, telling her the person responsible was an “animalistic bastard,” Hoier testified.
Andrews told detectives he had been napping around the time of the killing. He said he and Barga-Milbury were “neighborly friends,” testified J.T. Camp, a detective with the District Attorney’s Office.
When investigators learned Andrews had mental health issues and weapons, they asked to search his residence. Both Andrews and his mother consented to a search, testified Casey Neall, another detective with the District Attorney’s Office.
In Andrews’ room, investigators found armor, helmets, swords, pornographic magazines, figurines, rifle shells and a cabinet stocked with several rifles, Neall said. All but one rifle — a lever-action .30-30 — were dusty, he said.
Investigators believe the .30-30 was used to shoot Barga-Milbury. In previous testimony, jurors were told the markings on the bullets found at the homicide scene were similar to markings on bullets fired by experts from the rifle found at Andrews’ place.
In a previous hearing, Andrews’ attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said his client believed he was a werewolf and Barga-Milbury was a vampire.
While an insanity phase will include testimony about Andrews’ mental health, multiple detectives testified that he did not act bizarrely or unusually when they spoke to him.
“You’re telling me that … he appeared to you to be normal?” Funke-Bilu asked Camp.
Andrews was “odd compared to other people,” Camp said. “But he was communicative.”