Boone County Prosecutor Dan Knight has accepted an insanity plea from the suspect in a beating death at Columbiaâ??s Truman Veterans' Hospital.
Rudy Perez Jr. of Sedalia was sentenced to a maximum security mental facility at the Fulton State Hospital.
Knight dropped first degree murder charges against Perez for the February 1 beating death of Robert O. Hill, 78.
Knight accepted a not guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect after 2 doctors diagnosed Perez with schizophrenia.
Knight said Perez will likely spend the rest of his life in a maximum security area of the Fulton State Mental Hospital.
Every year, Perez will have the opportunity to petition the courts for a release.
Knight said, â??Thereâ??s been a significant, ongoing history of the defendant being diagnosed with schizophrenia, of the defendant suffering auditory and visual hallucinations and the defendant suffering from paranoid delusions dating back all the way back to 1999.â??
Knight said accepting the insanity plea was his only option because of the facts in the case and Missouri law.
Knight talked with members of the victimâ??s family before accepting Perezâ??s insanity plea.
Perezâ??s murder trial was scheduled to begin on October 1.