DAKOTA CITY -- A South Sioux City man acquitted last year of killing his wife because he is insane remains a danger to himself and others and will continue to receive treatment for his mental illness, a judge ruled Friday.
District Judge Geoffrey Hall said that findings in a psychologist's report filed in June show Bei Sheng Chen will remain a danger for the foreseeable future and continued treatment is needed before he is no longer considered dangerous.
Chen, 42, of South Sioux City, was found not responsible by reason of insanity and acquitted in May 2018 of first-degree murder, first-degree domestic assault and use of a firearm to commit a felony for the Sept. 6, 2017, shooting death of Mei Huang outside the Law Enforcement Center in South Sioux City.
Chen has spent the past year undergoing treatment at the Lincoln (Nebraska) Regional Center. Nebraska law requires an annual review of his condition.
Hall ordered an updated report on Chen's condition be filed in Dakota County District Court by Nov. 18. Another review hearing will be scheduled at that time.
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Two psychiatrists who had examined Chen separately agreed that he was insane when he shot and killed his wife and did not realize the consequences of his actions on that day. Chen was diagnosed with psychosis, delusional disorders and depressive disorders.
Chen had followed Huang to the Law Enforcement Center at 701 W. 29th St, and police officers inside the building heard the shooting outside. When they responded, they found Huang lying on the ground with gunshot wounds. Chen was found near her and taken into custody, and a firearm was found at the scene.
Evidence presented at trial showed that on the morning of the shooting, Chen was having delusions that his wife was the devil and was going to harm him. When he shot Huang, he did not know he had shot his wife, his attorney, Todd Lancaster, of the Nebraska Commission on Public Advocacy in Lincoln, said.
At trial, Lancaster did not dispute that Chen had shot his wife, and District Judge Paul Vaughan agreed that evidence showed Chen was the one who had pulled the trigger.
Vaughn's insanity finding spared Chen from the possibility of being sentenced to life in prison without parole had he been found guilty of first-degree murder.