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Tuesday, January 22, 2002



Man found insane
in slaying of sister


By Debra Barayuga
dbarayuga@starbulletin.com

A Waianae man who fatally stabbed his sister more than three years ago was acquitted by reason of insanity.

Herbert Cruz had been charged with second-degree murder for causing the death of his sister, Lisa Cruz, 30, in August 1998. He had faced life in prison with the possibility of parole.

In his ruling today, Circuit Judge Karl Sakamoto, who presided over the jury-waived trial in September, found Cruz posed a danger to the community and ordered him committed to the Hawaii State Hospital.

Sakamoto said he was persuaded by testimony given by defense expert, psychologist Olaf Gitter and Cruz' deteriorating condition and "bizarre conduct" after a motorcycle accident a few years before the attack on his sister.

Neighbors had said Cruz was never the same after the accident and would be seen yelling or singing in the streets. He also would sit for hours in the neighborhood park talking to himself.

The state had argued that Cruz acted intentionally and knew what he was doing because he fled to escape responsibility.



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