Aaron Lopez, the construction worker accused last year of beating to death a coworker with a metal pipe was formally charged with first-degree murder. While in court, the man pleaded not guilty because of insanity. Lopez’s attorney declared that his client was diagnosed with multiple mental disorders, including schizophrenia.
Heated Argument Leads to Metal Pipe Murder
During his court appearance on Monday, Aaron Lopez pled not guilty of committing first-degree murder, by reason of insanity. Gerald Schwab, Lopez’s attorney, declared that the events that led to the death of Otti Hick, the man’s coworker, is the inevitable result of his client’s mental issues. He also mentioned that was diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses, including post-traumatic stress disorder.
Lopez also told the court through his attorney that he has been struggling all his life with schizophrenia, a fact that might have fueled his assault.
According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department, last year, Lopez, who was working on a construction site, got into an argument with Outi Hicks, his coworker. Allegedly, the two of them were arguing about a piece of scaffolding Outi asked Lopez to move.
Following their discussion, Lopez picked up a metal pipe and hit the woman until she lost consciousness. The authorities were alerted, and the woman was taken to the hospital where she was pronounced dead later that day.
According to the police report, Lopez behaved oddly after the murder, as the law enforcement officers found him inside the company’s truck, waiting for the authorities.
Despite the lawyer declaring that his client is not mentally fit to stand trial, court documents indicate that after his arrest Lopez underwent therapy in county jail and received medication for his conditions. Court-appointed psychiatrists declared that the patient’s condition has improved, deeming him fit for trial.
If proven guilty, the man accused of committing the metal pipe murder could spend the next 25 years behind bars.
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