MASON CITY, Ia. – Thomas Barlas Jr. was found not guilty by reason of insanity this summer in the 2013 stabbing death of his father. Court observers say they think it was the first time such a defense was successfully argued in Cerro Gordo County.
A judge found that Barlas was mentally ill when he murdered his father, Thomas Barlas Sr., at the elder man’s Mason City home. The rarely used defense was unsuccessful in three other high-profile murder cases in the region….