The man accused of killing his mother at their Corning home in October 2018, has been released from a locked state mental facility and is back in the Tehama County Jail scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 17.
Erik Deno, 34, was found by the Tehama County Superior Court to be incompetent to stand trial for the murder of this mother, Angelika Deno, at their Marty Court residence, and had remained in a mental hospital for treatment until he was found mentally capable to take part in his defense.
Deno was charged on suspicion of murder and resisting arrest during an Oct. 11, 2016, arraignment in Tehama County Superior Court, and entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.
Tehama County District Attorney Matt Rogers said Deno is accused of strangling his mother before he allegedly placed her body in the home's outdoor trash bin, where it was located by Corning police on Oct. 8, 2018.
Rogers added that during the investigation Deno admitted to having killed an individual named Angelika, who he claimed was squatting at the residence.
“The law provides that Deno, if found to have been legally insane at the time of the crime, may remain in a locked state mental hospital for the purposes of being restored to competency for the length of incarceration for the underlying offense, which is 25-years to life for the offense of first degree murder,” he said.
While currently housed at the Tehama County Jail, Deno is undergoing a mental evaluation by a doctor who specializes in that area, Rogers explained.
“We are hoping that evaluation will be ready for Mr. Deno's next court appearance,” he added. “Once the evaluation report is submitted we can move forward on the case.”
Neighbors of the Denos' said on the day of the alleged murder, Erik Deno was seen acting strangely and irrationally throughout the day.
One neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, said Deno knocked on her door and when she answered he asked if “Waldo” was home.
“I knew him (Deno) because he had come knocking at my door a few times within the past year or so. I knew his mother. When he asked for Waldo, I told him no one named Waldo lives here. He then asked me if he could talk to Jesus,” she said.
Explaining that her boyfriend has long hair and a beard, she believed Deno was asking to talk to her boyfriend.
“I told him no, that Jesus wasn't here. He then said he needed help to move Gilda, and that if he didn't get help he would 'put her on the street, so just let them know that,'” the neighbor added.
She said almost the entire time he was talking to her, his facial expression was completely blank, except for when he talked about moving the body, then his face twitched.
As soon as Deno left, the neighbor called the police and asked for them to do a welfare check on Angelika Deno.
When Corning police arrived at the Deno residence they initially got no response.
After receiving more information on the situation, they recontacted the home and made entry into the residence, the police department reported.
Officers located Erik Deno in the bedroom, at which time he became combative, and following a brief struggle was detained, police said.
Shortly after, police located the victim's body in the trash bin in the residence's driveway, according to Corning police Sgt. Kylee Stroing.
The neighbor who originally called police that day, said Angelika Deno had told her previously that her son, Erik, had been in a mental institution and when he was released he came to live with her, and that dealing with him was very difficult.