McDonald pleads guilty, set to be sent to state hospital

Feb 4, 2014 1:46 PM

A settlement between the defense and the prosecution was reached this morning in the double-murder case of 37-year-old Thomas McDonald, the man charged for savagely murdering 54-year-old Karl Bradshaw and 84-year-old Ralph Torberg in Shasta County in February 2012.

In the settlement, McDonald entered a guilty plea, in exchange he admitted his insanity to the court and will be sent to a state hospital for 50 years to life.

Despite the displeasure of the victim’s families, which was voiced to Assistant District Attorney Craig Omura, the decision to settle was based on two psychological reports indicating McDonald was insane at the time of the murders. Omura also stated the prosecution also wanted to avoid the chance McDonald would receive a lesser sentence if the case went to trial.

Adam Ryan, McDonald’s defense attorney, also stated today McDonald’s chances of restoring himself to sanity is unlikely because his mental health condition is so severe he’ll likely never recover.

McDonald was charged with butchering Bradshaw and Torberg with a wood-splitting maul on February 28, 2012.

McDonald will know which state mental hospital he will spend the next 50 years to life in his next court date on February 24.


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