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Broomfield man who killed his father found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity

Nicholas Licata, 35, was charged with first degree murder in the January 2019 death of Frank Licata.
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BROOMFIELD, Colo. — A Broomfield man charged with stabbing his father to death and trying to suffocate his wife has been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Nicholas Licata, 35, was charged with first degree murder after deliberation, second degree assault with strangulation and misdemeanor child abuse in connection with the incident on Agate Way, according to a release from the 17th Judicial District Attorney's Office. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. 

Licata tried to strangle and suffocate his wife in front of their 4-year-old son early in the morning of Jan. 18, 2019, the release said.

According to the release, Licata's wife said he repeatedly threatened to kill her and pressed his fingers into her eye sockets, telling her "It's time for you to go now." She and their son both escaped to a neighbor's home and were picked up by Licata's mother.

Nicholas Licata's father, 61-year-old Frank Licata, stayed behind to talk to his son, the release said. Relatives later found Frank Licata's body partially dismembered, with multiple stab wounds, and covered with trash, according to the release. A Samurai sword had been used in the attack, the release said, and an autopsy showed Frank Licata's spinal cord had been severed.

Evaluations by a forensic psychologist and psychiatrist concluded that Nicholas Licata suffered from psychosis, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder with bouts of paranoia and hallucinations, the release said. The doctors said he was having a psychotic episode and was unable to distinguish right from wrong at the time of his crimes, according to the release, and he was determined to be legally insane. 

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Judge Don Quick cited the two evaluations in concluding that Nicholas Licata was not guilty by reason of insanity on all three charges, the release said, and ordered him committed to the Colorado Department of Human Resources Thursday.

“I’m so sorry this happened to you,” Quick told the Licata family. “I can’t imagine.” 

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