burbank alley homicide investigation

Police investigate the crime scene where 77-year-old Maria Diaz was found dead on Monday, January 20, 2014. Her son, Moises Diaz was charged with one count of murder and was found competent to stand trial. (Photo by Ross A. Benson / January 20, 2014)

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A 40-year-old Burbank man accused of killing his elderly mother was found competent to stand trial on Thursday, but he intends to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, according to his attorney.

Moises Diaz was charged with one count of murder in January after his mother, identified as Maria Huezo Diaz, 77, was found dead, wrapped in blankets, next to a dumpster near their apartment complex at 4000 W. Victory Blvd., authorities said.

According to police, Huezo Diaz died of "asphyxia by neck compressions." The pair lived together in the complex.

Diaz's attorney, Angelyn Gates, had declared doubt in Diaz's mental competency in April.

According to Gates, Diaz is a diagnosed schizophrenic who was "psychotic" at the time of the alleged crime.

"He was very sick," Gates said. "They've got him on his medication, stabilized on his medication, he's doing much better."

Criminal proceedings are slated to continue next week.

Diaz is being held in lieu of $1 million bail. If convicted, he could face life in state prison.

The incident marked the first killing in Burbank since October 2012, when two killings were reported in the city.