Bencoma pleads not guilty by reason of insanity

By Deb Murphy

Ray Bencoma has entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity to felony charges including assault on an officer. His trial date has been set for April 10 in Independence, according to an e-mail from Inyo County District Attorney Tom Hardy.

According to Hardy, Bencoma will first be tried on the specific charges. “If the jury finds…that the defendant is guilty of any of the charges, it (the jury) will then be presented with evidence regarding his sanity.” He goes on to state the plea “places the burden of proof on the defendant to show by a preponderance of the evidence that he was ‘incapable of knowing or understanding the nature and quality of his…act and of distinguishing right from wrong at the time of the commission of the offense.’””

The defendant has already been found competent to stand trial. The distinction, according to Hardy: competency to stand trial is based on “whether a defendant understands the nature of the charges…, the nature of the legal proceedings and whether he can cooperate with his attorney in preparing a defense.”

In addition to the assault on an officer charge, Bencoma was arraigned in late September on a felon possession of a firearm and ammunition, possession of stolen property and corporal injury to a significant other.

The charges stem from an incident in the early morning of August 26, 2016 when an Inyo County Sheriff’s deputy was flagged down by a female alleging she was the victim of domestic violence.

The Sheriff’s Department report stated Bencoma “appeared from behind an out-building and pointed a semi-automatic weapon at the” deputy. The deputy fired, hitting Bencoma. He was transported to Northern Inyo Hospital, then transferred to a hospital in Reno, Nev….

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Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago

mouthpiece….So according to your post,ONCE AGAIN it’s Law Enforcement picking on good-guy Ray Bencoma…only this time,after not being able to set-up and murder the “unarmed” Ray Bencoma,now they have to leave it to the court system to convict with trumped-up charges…gosh,I hear nothing but “good things” about this guy….wonder why… Read more »

Paco
Paco
5 years ago

Good thing Republicans eliminated the ban on crazy people acquiring firearms…

B
B
5 years ago

MOUTHPIECE, you are just that.

mouthpiece
mouthpiece
5 years ago

Law enforcement was not flagged down. He was unarmed!!!! Believe it or not. Facts are facts. Ironically, body cams were turned offor approximately 30 and during the actual time of the shooting. The weapon that was allegedly recovered at the scene and on also Bencomas person, DID NOT HAVE BENCOMAS… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
5 years ago
Reply to  mouthpiece

Mouthpiece, if you are sure of that, you should really reach out to the Grand jury.

BobK
BobK
5 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

if he’s a felon, he cant even have a
weapon on his person.

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
5 years ago

This guy has been a drain on the people of Inyo County for TOO freakin’ long ! He has done nothing in his life but cause havoc and misery. He has had way too many 2nd, 3rd, 4th…chances to change his ways . All he has accomplished is to show… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
5 years ago

I think half this town is nutz!

Tinner
Tinner
5 years ago

Good luck with that one, Rainman.

Low Inyo
Low Inyo
5 years ago

What a circus this ones gonna turn out to be…..hope I’m not called to jury duty with this !!