POSTED BY DEBBIE L. SKLAR
MAY 19, 2016
A judge ruled Thursday that an Iraq war veteran was legally insane when he shot and killed his 73-year-old neighbor and wounded the neighbor’s wife at a Reseda apartment building in December 2013.
Superior Court Judge Susan Speer made the finding after reviewing reports from three experts in the case of Ricardo Javier Tapia, 35, who pleaded no contest April 28 to the Dec. 20, 2013, murder of Giam Kim Hoang and the attempted murder of Hoang’s wife, Ngoc Hoan Thi Nguyen, 61.
Tapia will be sent to Patton State Hospital for treatment for at least six months, according to his attorney, William M. Paparian.
Tapia’s lawyer said he will then ask for his client to be sent to a Veterans Administration residential facility for treatment of a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“My goal is to get him the treatment that I believe he desperately needs,” Paparian said.
Tapia was taken to a VA hospital in December 2013 on an involuntary psychiatric hold after his fiance called 911 about his erratic behavior, but he was released a day later and his handgun was not confiscated by police, according to his lawyer.
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