Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jury Finds Robert McClain Sane at Time of Torture, Mayhem

Robert McClain. Police photo.

On Thursday afternoon, a Santa Ana, California jury found ex-LASD deputy Robert McClain sane when he brutally attacked his wife and her lover. McClain now faces life in prison, rather than in a mental institution.

The jury took less than two hours to make their decision. In closing arguments, Defense attorney Darren Thomas claimed McClain “had a break from reality. How else do you explain the complete and utter chaos?” In response, prosecutor John Christi pointed to the methodical way McClain controlled the situation, saying his behavior was clearly “grounded in reality.”

McClain’s trial lasted six weeks and included powerful testimony from the victims about forced sodomy and attempted castration. Photos of the crime scene and the wounds inflicted in the attack caused one juror to faint. Jurors spoke afterward to the OC Register about the difficulties in weighing such serious crimes. “That a man could do that to his wife. Some of the males in the jury thought that a woman should never be touched that way,” said juror Darin Warden.

Prosecutor Christi summed it up for the media afterward: “It has been nearly four years and the victims finally have closure.”

Now that he has been found sane, Robert McClain faces multiple life prison terms. Judge Gary Paer will formally sentence McClain on July 13, 2012.

Read the full story of the Robert McClain torture case. 

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