Norfolk man charged with 2017 murder to rely on insanity defense

NORFOLK, Nebraska (KTIV) – A man charged in the 2017 stabbing death of a Norfolk, Nebraska, man will now rely on an insanity defense in the case.

Rodolfo Castaneda-Morejon has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and weapons charges in the August 2017 death of Yosvanis Velazquez-Gomez.

Last week his attorney filed paperwork in Madison County District Court that Castaneda-Morejon would use a defense of not responsible by reason of insanity.

Authorities say Velazquez-Gomez was stabbed to death outside of an apartment in the 900-block of Syracuse Avenue on Aug. 25, 2017, by Castenada-Morejon.

In February of this year, Madison County District Judge Mark Johnson ruled in favor of the state’s motion to involuntary medicate Castaneda-Morejon to alleviate symptoms of schizophrenia.

In May of 2018, Castenada-Morejon was ruled not competent to stand trial. In January of 2019, the state asked a judge to force Castanada-Morejon to continue taking his meds so he would be competent to stand trial.

According to court documents, Dr. Rafael Tatay, a psychiatrist with the State of Nebraska and  Lincoln Regional Center, had requested to administer drugs to Castenada-Morejon in order to restore his competency.

Tatay did not believe treatment methods like psychotherapy would succeed with Castenada-Morejon.

According to court documents, Tatay believes Castenada-Morejon suffers from intense paranoia “which clouds his judgment”. Tatay indicated the paranoia is a symptom of schizophrenia.

Blake Branch

Blake Branch

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