Psychiatrists at Napa State Hospital have found a Danville man competent to stand trial for the 2006 bludgeoning death of his mother, Contra Costa County Deputy District Attorney Dan Cabral said today.
Andrew Mantas, now 21, was 16 when his mother, 43-year-old Dimitra Mantas, was beaten to death with an aluminum baseball bat in the family's Danville home on Nov. 6, 2006.
Police arrested Andrew Mantas just hours after the slaying as he was driving through Blackhawk country club on a stolen golf cart. He told police he thought someone was after him, his attorney Daniel Horowitz said in the weeks following the slaying.
Horowitz could not be immediately reached for comment this afternoon, but has said in the past that Andrew Mantas had been suffering from a progressive mental illness for at least 18 months before his mother's death.
In the weeks before his mother's death, Danville police had documented at least two incidents where Andrew Mantas had randomly attacked people, Horowitz said.
Neighbors also told police that Andrew Mantas had been behaving strangely and knocking on their doors asking for help, Horowitz said.
Just days before Dimitra Mantas was killed, she took her son to her priest and told him she believed he was possessed by demons. The priest told her that her son needed immediate psychiatric help, Horowitz said.
But when Dimitra Mantas took her son to a hospital, hospital staff refused to admit him, Horowitz said. They told her to take him home and make an appointment for him with a psychologist the following week, Horowitz said.
Two days later, Dimitra Mantas was beaten to death.
In the months that followed, Horowitz said Andrew Mantas had no idea his mother was dead or that he had allegedly killed her. He heard voices and was diagnosed with several severe mental illnesses.
Doctors tried to treat him at Juvenile Hall in Martinez and restore his sanity enough that he could be found competent to stand trial, which means he needed to be able to understand court proceedings and assist in his own defense, but he was eventually sent to Napa State Hospital for further treatment.
Cabral said he was not expecting to receive the letter today stating that Andrew Mantas was now competent to stand trial.
The next step will be for Horowitz to either accept or challenge the findings of Andrew Mantas' doctors in Napa, Cabral said.
If he accepts the findings, Andrew Mantas will likely plead not guilty by reason of insanity, Cabral said.
The district attorney's office can then either accept that plea and Andrew Mantas could be sent back to Napa for 25 years to life or until he regains his sanity. Or they could take the case to trial, Cabral said.
Andrew Mantas has been charged as an adult and his next hearing is scheduled for June 27 in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez.