Man ruled insane in killing of professor
The ex-UH student believed his victim was a robot, stabbing her over 200 times
AUSTIN, Texas » A former Hawaii man who claimed he stabbed and slashed his piano professor at the University of Texas more than 200 times because he thought she was a robot intent on killing him has been found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity.
Jurors reached the verdict Thursday in the case of Jackson Ngai -- a former student at the University of Texas and the University of Hawaii -- who could be committed to mental institutions indefinitely.
"If we can keep him locked up in a mental hospital for the rest of his life, that will be justice," prosecutor Corby Holcomb said.
Ngai's attorney has said Ngai believed music professor Danielle Martin was a robot or was controlled by a computer chip in her brain and was trying to kill him. On her body was a handwritten note that said, "Computer chip in brain."
Daneen Milam, a defense expert who said Ngai was insane, said the number of wounds on Martin's head, which left a deep hole in her skull, showed he was focused on something other than just killing Martin.
"He said he was getting a computer chip out," Milam testified. "He said that's what he was going to do. When he couldn't do it, he called the police to help him."
Ngai's attorney, Jim Erickson, did not immediately return a telephone message left at his office yesterday.
Ngai, 24, had checked out of a mental health treatment center less than a day before Martin was killed.
Ngai was born in Hong Kong in 1981, and his family moved to Hawaii when he was 9. He later studied music at UH.