Man charged with beating grandmother to death acquitted by reason of insanity

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Aiea man charged with savagely beating his grandmother to death was acquitted by reason of insanity Monday.

Darrel Wright, Jr., 51, was charged with second-degree murder. He opted to have Circuit Judge Randal Lee decide his case, instead of a 12-member jury.

Prosecutors say the defendant punched Mary Sobrado, 85, in the head with such force that she suffered multiple skull fractures. They say he attacked her because she nagged him about taking his medication.

But the defense argued that Wright, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia, shouldn't be held criminally responsible because he lacked the volitional capacity to control his behavior.

The judge agreed with the defense and committed Wright to the custody of the Hawaii State Hospital until he is no longer a danger to himself or the community.

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