Baisa, accused of killing uncle, enters insanity plea
by NEAL PUTNAM
Published - 07/16/18 - 02:21 PM | 2505 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A Pacific Beach man who is accused of killing his 66-year-old uncle pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity on July 13.

Randy Bautista Baisa, 37, entered his insanity plea before San Diego Superior Court Judge Joan Weber in the Jan. 17 death of Merlino Baustista in the apartment they shared at 1855 Diamond Street in Pacific Beach.

Deputy District Attorney Scott Pirrello said the judge will appoint two psychiatrists or psychologists to examine Baisa in jail. He said he anticipated the Sept. 5 trial date will be changed to later in the year.

His attorney, Stephen Cline, said earlier that Baisa had “substantial mental health history” that included multiple hospitalizations.

Baisa pleaded not guilty earlier, but the insanity plea was not entered until July 13.

If a jury finds Baisa killed his uncle but was insane at the time, he would be committed to a state psychiatric facility. If they find he killed his uncle but was sane, he would be sentenced to prison.

Seven witnesses testified April 13 in the preliminary hearing including neighbors and police officers.

San Diego Police detective Sgt. Luke Johnson testified Baisa admitted to stabbing his uncle after he was arrested. A deputy medical examiner testified the victim was stabbed 18 times.

A neighbor recalled a memory of three years earlier when the victim told him his nephew had been hallucinating.

Paramedics took Baustista to Scipps La Jolla Hospital, but he was pronounced dead at 2:01 a.m.

Another detective said there were hand-written instructions for Baisa which were found taped to a wall which suggested that if he becomes manic to “stay in Pacific Beach.”

Baisa remains in jail on $2 million bail.

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