One of the defendants facing trial for a deadly gang-related shooting in Ventura more than three years ago says he was insane at the time.
23-year-old Richard Hernandez of Oxnard changed his plea Monday to not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting death of 25-year-old Cameron Miller of Oxnard.
The June 2016 killing happened in broad daylight in a busy parking lot near the Sizzler restaurant on East Main Street in midtown Ventura.
Ventura police say there were three confrontations between the suspects and victims at three locations in that area before the shooting that killed Miller and wounded another person.
The incident was followed by a vehicle pursuit that ended when the suspect vehicle crashed in east Ventura and the suspects tried to flee on foot into an orchard.
In addition to Hernandez, 24-year-old Alexis Ramirez of Oxnard, Luis Aguilar of Oxnard, and a 16-year-old female, were arrested.
Ramirez is currently awaiting trial with Hernandez and has a pretrial conference on October 16th.
Aguilar was allowed to plead guilty to the lessor charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to 17-years in prison.
The female juvenile had her case handled in juvenile court.
After Hernandez entered his not guilty by reason of insanity plea, two psychological experts were appointed to examine him.
If the case goes to trial with the NGRI plea, a trial would be held on the issue of guilt and then a second trial on the issue of insanity.
If found insane, Hernandez would be sentenced to a locked state mental institution instead of prison.