- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City man was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the fatal stabbing of his 73-year-old father last year.

District Judge Gregg Rosenbladt ruled Wednesday in Cerro Gordo County District Court that Thomas Barlas Jr.’s psychotic episode in his father’s home rendered him incapable of comprehending right from wrong.

Barlas was charged with first-degree murder in his father’s July 2013 slaying, The Mason City Globe Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1mpOMgR ).

Prosecution and defense psychiatrists concluded that Barlas suffered from psychosis, delusions and paranoid behavior. He will be evaluated for at least 30 days at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Oakdale. After that, a court hearing will be held to determine what will happen to him.

“Today has been a big relief for the family,” Barlas’ attorney Aaron Hamrock said. “July 18 of last year was just a tragic event not only for the Barlas family but for a community.”

The county’s attorney, Carlyle Dalen, said the judge’s ruling wasn’t surprising.

“We knew from the medical experts, we knew from the state’s expert and also the defense experts that at the time that this act was committed that he was legally insane,” Dalen said. “And so the state cannot go forward with a crime against somebody that was insane at the time they committed that event.”

Barlas’ mother Kathy said she had found her son standing in the garage covered in blood, claiming to be Jesus Christ and to have killed Satan. She later found her husband dead in a bedroom.

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Information from: Globe Gazette, https://www.globegazette.com/

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