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Name: People v. Bartsch
Case #: A120182
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 10/21/2008

A person who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity who subsequently applies for release from state hospital commitment bears the burden of proving, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he is no longer a danger to others because of mental defect, disease, or disorder. In 1995, while under the influence of methamphetamine, appellant stabbed his grandmother to death. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to the Department of Mental Health, and hospitalized at Napa State Hospital, with a primary diagnosis of amphetamine-induced psychotic disorder. In 2005, appellant petitioned for placement on outpatient treatment, pursuant to Penal Code section 1026.2, but after hearing the evidence of the treating doctors, the trial court denied the petition. The evidence presented indicated that although appellant was in remission, he failed to appreciate the triggers for substance abuse and had not developed an effective plan to prevent relapse. The appellate court upheld the denial, noting that because there was substantial evidence that appellant continued to pose a threat to the public, the trial court had not abused its discretion in denying the petition.