For release on January 9, 2014
Deputy District Attorney
TRANSIENT WHO FATALLY BEAT FRIEND FOUND INSANE
A transient who beat a friend to death with a baseball bat at a Great Mall sports store last year was found this week to be “not guilty by reason of insanity.”
Nathaniel Manlangit, 26, pleaded to the charge before the Hon. Diane Northway on Wednesday, a plea that will result in his institutionalization in a locked forensic mental hospital. Manlangit will remain in the hospital indefinitely, unless doctors and the court conclude that his sanity has been restored.
“We believe that, due to his mental illness, Mr. Manlangit was incapable of understanding that his horrifically violent act was wrong,” prosecutor Angela Bernhard said. “We hope that he will remain in the hospital as long as his mental illness causes him to be a threat, even if that means that he will be a patient for the rest of his life.”
To be declared “Not guilty by reason of insanity” requires that a defendant, by reason of mental disease or defect, could not:
- Know the nature of his or her act
- Understand the nature of his or her act
- Distinguish between right and wrong at the time of the crime
On the morning of June 7, 2013, Manlangit and the 31-year-old victim, Carlos Pasqual Vargas-Caloca, were walking the aisles of Sports Authority in the popular Milpitas mall. They briefly separated. Seemingly unprovoked, Manlangit then grabbed a bat from the shelves and attacked Caloca. He struck him numerous times. By the time Milpitas police arrived soon afterward the victim was dead.
Two doctors – one hired by the prosecution - agreed that Manlangit was delusional and legally insane when he committed the homicide. If, at some point, he is determined to no longer be a danger to the public he would be released on supervised outpatient treatment. Such releases require regular reviews and people can be returned to the state hospital if they do not comply with treatment. Before a person is released from treatment and supervision, a jury trial has to be held to determine if he or she no longer poses any danger.