Mentally ill man sentenced for crossbow killing

SAN DIEGO — A mentally ill man who killed a 55-year-old man with a crossbow bolt and assaulted four others with a crossbow at a downtown hotel last year was sentenced Monday to more than 34 years to life in a state hospital.

After a preliminary hearing, 41-year-old Robert Skoronski entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of Otha Hunter. Months later, Skoronski pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, and both the prosecution and the defense agreed that he was insane at the time of the crime, said Deputy District Attorney Steven Schott.

Judge Michael Smyth ordered that Skoronski be turned over to the Department of Mental Health for placement at a state hospital.

Schott said Skoronski killed Hunter with the crossbow bolt (or arrow), then turned a crossbow on four others at the Peachtree Hotel on April 2, 2016.

The defendant’s plea stipulated that he suffered from a severe mental illness at the time of the offense and didn’t know the difference between right and wrong, according to the prosecutor.

Skoronski’s specific mental illness was not noted on the record, Schott said.

In addition to murder, the defendant pleaded guilty to four counts of assault with a deadly weapon and two counts of resisting an executive officer.