20-year Old Schizophrenic Man Charged with Double Homicide

Although most individuals with schizophrenia aren’t any more likely to commit a violent crime than the general population, there are exceptions. Such may be the case with a 20 year old Atascadero, California man named Andrew Downs.

Downs has been charged with the murders of two sisters in Santa Margarita, California this past Saturday – Christmas Day. According to reports, the sisters, who were both in their early 60s, were fatally shot around 6:30 pm on December 25, 2010. Prior to being arrested the next day, Downs had also allegedly stolen three vehicles and attempted to attack another person.

Zachary Zabala, also 20, has known Downs since grade school. He reported that Downs had been diagnosed with schizophrenia a few years earlier when they were both high school sophomores. Zabala described Downs as a kind person who was often scared of people. He said Downs often talked about how the wind would whisper and trees were talking to him. He also said that just two weeks earlier Downs was talking about the coming of the apocalypse in the near future.

Downs is scheduled for an evaluation later in January to determine if he is competent to stand trial. The charges he is facing include two counts of premeditated homicide.

Read more: http://www.ksby.com/news/suspect-in-santa-margarita-double-homicide-arre...

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