At the end of a nearly three-year-long murder trial in the Alameda County Superior Court, former UC Berkeley student Pablo Gomez was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sentenced to a state mental hospital for 39 years to life Nov. 22, as first reported by Berkeleyside.
Gomez, who uses they/them pronouns, was charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon. They were arrested in January 2017 in connection with both the stabbing of Kiana Lailin Schmitt and the murder of Emilie Juliette Inman, a 27-year-old Berkeley resident who had no previous connection to Gomez. They were also charged with first-degree residential robbery, but the charge was later discharged.
On the morning of Nov. 22, Gomez entered no contest pleas, which are the alternative to a guilty or not guilty plea, before being found guilty on all three charges. Immediately after he was found guilty, however, Judge C. Don Clay ruled that Gomez would be serving their sentence in a mental hospital, as they experienced a psychotic episode during the attack and also have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
In response to the decision, many of Inman’s family and friends said the hospital sentence was not justice for Inman.
“There is no restorative justice for this type of crime,” said Scott Inman, Inman’s father, at the hearing, according to the Berkeleyside article. “Killing my daughter with a knife in this manner has broken us.”
Clay expressed sympathy for those who attended the hearing, but stood behind the ruling, according to the same article. He claimed that what stood out most to him was that people who knew Gomez “failed” to help them the day before the attack, despite signs of danger.
If Gomez reaches sanity any time during the 39-year minimum sentence, Clay said they will be transferred to prison, according to Berkeleyside.