Monterey County

Salinas Man Drops Insanity Defense and Pleads Guilty to Murder

SALINAS, Calif. - A little over two years after his mother was murdered, 31-year-old Christopher Sorenson has pleaded guilty to the murder charges.

Sorenson, who has been diagnosed as schizophrenic, has been in and out of mental treatment for years. County Mental Health doctors tried to have him committed involuntarily at a jury trial just a week before the disappearance of his mother; however, that jury found insufficient evidence to commit him, said the Monterey County District Attorney's office.

Since his arrest, Sorenson has spent time in Atascadero State Hospital after he was determined to be incompetent to stand trial. However, a judge later decided he was competent to stand trial. The court appointed three doctors to evaluate Sorenson.

Tuesday, Sorenson dropped his insanity defense.

The case started when a missing person report was filled for Nene ‘Janet' Sorenson after she missed several appointments with her piano students in December of 2011.

Salinas Police Crime Scene Investigators said they found evidence in her home of a partially cleaned blood trail leading out to the garage where the victim's van was missing. Sorenson was found living in the van with his mother's dog on December 15, 2011, by Monterey Police.

Janet Sorenson's body was later found at the bottom of a small cliff in a rural area of San Benito County. Police said that it appeared as though someone had purposefully dumped her body where it might not be noticed.

Sorenson will be sentenced to 15 years to life in state prison in January 16.

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