An Atascadero man murdered his neighbor, according to a jury, which will now have to decide whether the defendant was legally insane at the time of the killing.
After less than a full day of deliberations, the jury found Mark Andrews, 51, guilty of first-degree murder. The jury also found that Andrews used a firearm when he shot Colleen Barga-Milbury, 52, in May 2013.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Andrews took a rifle from his room that May, drove to Barga-Milbury’s home and shot her two times while her teenage son was at school.
Andrews’ defense attorney said his client, who has a 20-year history of mental illness, believed he was a werewolf and Barga-Milbury was a vampire. The attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, also said Andrews believed the voice of God told him to kill Barga-Milbury, a family friend who had worked at Atascadero State Hospital.
During the trial, Carolyn Murphy, a forensic psychologist who testified for the defense, said Andrews suffered from schizophrenia and was experiencing delusions at the time of the shooting. Witnesses for the prosecution, however, said Andrews did not appear psychotic afterward. Methamphetamine pipes were found in his room, deputy district attorney Matt Kraut said, and three days after the shooting, Andrews told his mother in a jailhouse conversation that he wanted to be executed.
During the sanity portion of the trial, which begins Monday, psychiatric witnesses will debate whether Andrews understood what he was doing when he shot Barga-Milbury and whether he knew it was wrong.