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Gridley Herald

Oroville Man Found Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Jan 24, 2024 03:37PM ● By Butte County District Attorney News Release

BUTTE COUNTY, CA (MPG) - A Butte County Superior Court judge found an Oroville man to be legally insane at the time he used a shotgun to kill his mother. Previously on December 20, 2023, Andrew Nathan Iles, 35, pleaded guilty to a count of murder and admitted he used a shotgun to commit the crime. The insanity finding at the time of the murder ruled out a prison sentence but subjects Iles to a possible lifetime commitment to a state hospital.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said the murder charge stemmed from a January 5, 2022, incident where Iles was in an argument with his stepfather and his mother, Susan Hill, 58. Iles had accused his parents of altering a shotgun he had. His parents denied it, and Iles went outside, shooting off a round to determine if the gun was functioning properly. After firing a round, Iles appeared satisfied and apologized to his stepfather before his stepfather left for work.

A few hours later, however, Iles called 911, telling dispatchers he had shot his mother. Deputies arrived on scene shortly after receiving the 911 call, contacted Iles, and discovered Iles shot his mother at close range, using a shotgun.

When questioned by law enforcement, Iles admitted to killing his mother because he believed she had been poisoning him and putting skin irritants on him to make him suffer. He also told detectives he attempted life-saving measures on his mother after he called 911.

Iles is an Air Force veteran with no previous criminal record. He was honorably discharged in 2010 and returned to Oroville to live with his mother and stepfather. After his return home, Iles suffered from paranoid thoughts and delusions, believing the government and others, including his mother, were trying to kill him. Iles was ultimately diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia while seeking mental health treatment through the Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Chico.

Iles had been prescribed medication to treat his schizophrenia, but he stopped taking it before the shooting. In a recent national investigative article published by ProPublica, it was claimed Iles had difficulty establishing consistent care with a mental health provider through the VA:

Iles was evaluated by three separate court-appointed psychologists. Two of the three doctors agreed that Iles was legally insane at the time of the murder. The prosecution and defense submitted all three reports to the court as evidence. Taking the reports under submission, Judge Jesus Rodriguez determined Iles was legally insane at the time of the shooting.

Iles is next due in court on February 7, 2024, for the court to determine where he should be housed to receive treatment.

Absent a state hospital psychiatric clearance in the future, Iles faces a potential life term in the state hospital system.