Sanity phase begins in trial for man accused in mother's murder - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sanity phase begins in trial for man accused in mother's murder

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VISTA (CNS) - The defense began presenting its case Wednesday in the sanity phase of trial of a man who killed his mother and chopped up her body in her Solana Beach home after she ended his access to her money.

Bryan Chang, 33, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder earlier this month for the January 2010 death of 60-year-old Sherry Chu Chang.

The defense contends, however, that Bryan Chang was insane at the time of the killing. The sanity phase of trial -- in which the defense has the burden of proof -- is expected to last more than two weeks.

The victim's body was found Jan. 25, 2010, at her home after she didn't show up for work. The defendant was arrested two nights later at his home in Los Angeles.

Sherry Chu Chang suffered 75 separate wounds, including blows to her arm, back and scalp, delivered by either a claw hammer, baseball bat or some other blunt force instrument, according to previous court testimony.

At a preliminary hearing in 2012, defense attorney Kathleen Cannon said her client smashed his mother's skull, then cut up her body, putting an arm and some broken bones in the refrigerator.

Deputy District Attorney Rachel Solov said the victim had made changes to her accounts so that her son couldn't get access to them through credit cards or other means.

Her credit card was used after she was killed, and $2,000 was taken from her purse, according to court testimony.

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