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Man not guilty by reason of insanity in Holdrege killings

November 16, 2021 GMT

HOLDREGE, Neb. (AP) — A judge has ruled a Holdrege man not responsible by reason of insanity for a 2019 triple shooting that killed two men and seriously injuring another.

The ruling came in the case of Manuel Gomez, 48, who had a one-day bench trial on Nov. 9 in which Gomez’s lawyers relied on an insanity defense, the Kearney Hub reported.

Authorities have said Gomez shot and killed 65-year-old Raymond Burton and 54-year-old David Rogers in February 2019 at the Sunrise View Apartments in Holdrege. Prosecutors said he also shot and wounded his attorney at the time, Doyle Morse, at Morse’s home.

Gomez was found mentally unfit to stand trial in August 2019 after an evaluation. In April 2020, he was deemed restored to competency and ordered to stand trial on two counts of first-degree murder, one count assault, three counts of use of a firearm to commit a felony, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of being an habitual criminal.

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In his ruling, Judge Stephen Illingworth relied on the testimony of mental health experts for both the defense and prosecutors who said Gomez is schizophrenic and would not have carried out the shootings were it not for his psychosis and paranoia.

Another hearing will determine whether Gomez will be committed to a state psychiatric hospital.