Laid-Off Technician Pleads Insanity in Killing of Employers
SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A computer technician charged with killing two executives in a shooting and bombing rampage after being fired from an electronics company has pleaded insanity in the crimes.
Larry T. Hansel stormed offices at Elgar Corp. on June 6, blew out the switchboard with a shotgun blast, detonated two radio-controlled bombs and, after brushing aside former co-workers, shot two men to death, authorities said.
Hansel, 41, entered his plea Tuesday before Municipal Court Judge E. Mac Amos. If found insane, Hansel could be committed to a state psychiatric hospital for 90 days to life.
Earlier, Hansel had pleaded innocent to charges of murder, explosives and burglary.
Defense attorney Alex Loebig acknowledged Hansel committed the shootings and said a psychiatrist and a psychologist diagnosed him as psychotic.
″He was psychotic at the time of the shooting, he remains psychotic and he didn’t appreciate the moral wrongness of his acts,″ Loebig said.
San Diego police Detective Richard Carlson testified that Hansel had a list of six supervisors he wanted to kill at the plant that employed him from 1988 until March 1991. Carlson said Hansel told him the names while being returned to San Diego from Palm Desert, where he turned himself in to police.
Killed were John Gary Jones, 48, the company’s vice president in charge of engineering, and Michael Krowitz, 46, a sales manager.
Jones was on Hansel’s list, Krowitz was not, Carlson said.
Others on the list were the human resources director who fired Hansel in March and four plant supervisors, Carlson said. They escaped injury.
A Superior Court arraignment was set for Sept. 3. Prosecutors said they hadn’t decided whether to seek the death penalty if Hansel is convicted.
Neighbors and former coworkers said Hansel often spoke of space aliens and told some people that the Gulf War signaled the end of the world.