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Chula Vista

The sanity trial of a Chula Vista man convicted of murdering three people in 1982 by firing gunshots from his mobile home opened Wednesday with his attorney telling jurors the man was insane at the time of the shootings.

The sanity of Alys McNair, 62, is the only issue the San Diego Superior Court jury will consider during the trial.

McNair’s attorney, Tom Senters, told the jury McNair pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder in 1983.

“The issue was whether he was sane at the time of the shootings,” Senters said.

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Deputy Dist. Atty. Howard Shore described the Feb. 17, 1982, deaths of Cesar Escutia, 36; his mother, Gloria DeCastro, 62; and Monique Gerard, 23. Shore said McNair had often complained that DeCastro’s dogs’ barking kept him awake.

The 4th District Court of Appeal ruled in May that, since McNair had not withdrawn his insanity plea when he pleaded guilty before Judge Michael Greer, the issue was still present. The court voided McNair’s 45-years-to-life sentence and ordered a sanity trial.

If found to be insane, McNair could spend the rest of his life in a state mental hospital. If the jury finds that he is sane, he will be returned to prison.


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