Sledgehammer slaying suspect sent to Napa

A Santa Rosa man who was charged with the sledgehammer killing of his father in October was committed to Napa State Hospital Thursday morning.

Criminal proceedings were suspended in November against 34-year-old Angelo Michael Lancaster after a doctor found him mentally incompetent to participate in his legal defense. Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Shelly Averill committed him today to Napa State Hospital for a maximum of three years.

If Lancaster is not restored to competence within three years, there will be a court hearing, his attorney Daniel Clymo said. Deputy District Attorney Scott Jamar said Lancaster must remain at least six months in the hospital and will be required to take medications.

The hospital will provide updates on his condition after the first year, Jamar said. After three years, Lancaster could be sent to a transitional mental health facility, Jamar said. Lancaster told the judge he objected to the hospital commitment.

He said he could receive better mental health treatment and be restored to competency in Sonoma County Jail rather than the hospital, Clymo said.

Lancaster, also known as Kartar Khalsa, was arrested and charged with killing his father Simran Khalsa, 64, on Oct. 19 at his father’s home in the 600 block of Wright Street in Santa Rosa. Police found Khalsa’s body in an upstairs bedroom and Lancaster was found hiding in the backyard of the residence.

Lancaster, who lived in an apartment on the property, broke out a glass front door of the house and entered it with a sledgehammer around 11:20 p.m. The victim’s nephew called police during the attack, police said.

After a brief argument, Lancaster allegedly strangled his father and beat him with the sledgehammer. Police said Lancaster was angry about an earlier dispute. Clymo said Lancaster was born while his parents were members of a cult in New Mexico, where they eventually divorced.

Lancaster’s father then sent his son to high school in India and after high school, Lancaster suffered a “psychotic break,” Clymo said. “His father was not a big part of his life,” Clymo said.

Lancaster received treatment and his father provided a place for him to live on his property a few months before the homicide, Clymo said.