Castaic woman who murdered her father sent to Patton state hospital

Dan Watson A Santa Clarita Sheriff's Deputy cruiser sits in front of a house in Castaic where a dead body was found in 2014. 090514


A Castaic woman who pleaded no contest last month to having brutally murdered her elderly father three years ago was placed in the Patton State hospital Tuesday.

Denise Ann Gillis, 51, appeared Tuesday in San Fernando Superior Court, a month after she entered a plea of no contest to one count of second degree murder.

On Oct. 3, Gillis – whose sanity was called into question from the day her father’s slashed and stabbed body was found more than three years ago – pleaded no contest to murder.

The next day, on Oct. 4, she appeared in court again for a hearing to determine her sanity at the time of the killing.

“She was found not guilty by reason of insanity,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office told The Signal at that time.

On Tuesday, Santiago said Gillis was “placed in Patton state hospital.”

Patton state hospital, which opened in 1893, is a forensic psychiatric hospital located in Patton, CA, in San Bernardino County.

It provides treatment to forensically and civilly committed patients within a secure treatment area. The hospital does not accept voluntary admissions.

The hospital, on its webpage, describes how people such as Gillis are treated there.

It states: “Persons judged by the court to be guilty of a crime, but not guilty because they were insane at the time of the crime are committed to a state hospital for treatment for a period equal to the maximum sentence for their most serious offense, subordinate offenses and enhancements.”

The hospital further explains that its “ultimate goal” is for the patient to reintegrate into the community with an increased awareness of their role within society and to take responsibility for personal and public safety.

The focus of treatment for this population involves helping the patient development insight into their mental illness and how the symptoms of mental illness led to the commission of a crime, hospital officials explain on the webpage.

Further, it states, “the patient must also demonstrate the ability to safely and effectively manage the symptoms associated with their mental illness.”

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