Judge acquits Norfolk, NE murder suspect “by reason of insanity”

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 8:02 PM CDT
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MADISON, Neb. - A judge has acquitted a Norfolk, Nebraska, man of a first-degree murder charge after the judge found the suspect “not responsible by reason of insanity.”

Rodolfo Castaneda-Morejon was charged in the death of Yosvanis Velazquez-Gomez, outside a Norfolk apartment complex, in August of 2017.

A bench trial in the case began in November of 2021. Judge Mark Johnson’s ruling was released Wednesday.

Since his arrest in 2017, Castaneda-Morejon had been found not competent to stand trial on several occasions. In 2019, a Madison County judge ruled in favor of the state’s motion to forcibly medicate Castaneda-Morejon to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. In 2020, a judge ruled that Castaneda-Morejon was competent to stand. Castaneda-Morejon maintained his innocence and pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Since the judge deems Castaneda-Morejon a danger to himself, and others, for the foreseeable future, he’s ordered to undergo a 90-day evaluation of his mental condition and treatment plan. During that time, Castaneda-Morejon can’t leave a locked and secured facility. The judge wants the evaluation done before the 90-day evaluation period is up.

Another hearing in the case is set for August 5th.

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