A 50-year-old Fountain Valley man who attacked his mother with a shovel pleaded not guilty today to second-degree murder by reason of insanity.
Robert Lawrence Char pleaded guilty in July 2010 to attempted murder and other charges in connection with the attack on 74-year-old Joyce Char and was sentenced to nine years in prison.
However, Char was charged with murder last year after his mother died in December 2010 from the injuries she sustained in the June 20, 2009, attack.
Char today admitted a sentencing enhancement allegation for the personal use of a deadly weapon, according to court records.
A physician found Char insane and that report was submitted to Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard Toohey, Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste said.
"He is therefore sentenced to a mental hospital," Balleste told City News Service. "His 2009 plea was withdrawn and dismissed based on him entering a plea of guilty to the murder based on the same facts."
Char attacked his 74-year-old mother after the two -- who lived together in Fountain Valley -- got into an argument about household chores.
Char demanded that his mother leave his room, and when she refused, grabbed a shovel and slammed it over her head repeatedly, according to prosecutors.
Char left the home and told a neighbor to call 911, saying he needed medical assistance, according to authorities.
Fountain Valley police reported they found Char on the sidewalk in the 10400 block of Calle Madero Circle with blood on his clothes and cuts on his arms and hands.
-- City News Service