Hermiston Murder Sentencing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hermiston Murder Sentencing

Posted: Updated:

Hermiston, Oreg. - A man who pled guilty to murdering a missing Hermiston man in 2003 gets a life sentence Wednesday. But 25-year-old Jonathan Flaiz will not serve his sentence in prison.

Flaiz is on his way to the Oregon State Hospital. Although he pled guilty to murder, the court decided he's not completely accountable. Psychiatric professionals need to keep a close eye on him.

Baliffs escorted Jonathan Flaiz into court and throughout his entire sentencing he never uttered one word.

Monday Flaiz pled guilty except for insanity to murdering Hermiston man Mark Engelhart.

Engelhart had been missing since July 24th, 2003. Though his body was never found, prosecutors had enough evidence to charge Flaiz with murder.

Engelhart's family said they're pleased to see justice finally take its course, but it doesn't bring peace.

"One of the most terrible things that can happen to a family is to be left hanging with no closure," said Kevin Engelhart, Mark's brother.   

Part of the problem is Flaiz hasn't been very cooperative.  He suffers from Chronic Paranoid Schizophrenia. He told prosecutors a moth was eating his brain, and his only relief was to kill Engelhart.

The court considers Flaiz substantially dangerous to others. So instead of prison, Flaiz will spend the rest of his natural life under the eye of the state's Psychiatric Security Review Board. And the Engelharts add they will forever miss their beloved father, husband and brother.

"If you had something bothering you, it didn't matter, night or day he had time to talk to you. And he would give you the best advice that he had. A true friend and a brother," said Engelhart.   

Right now investigators are still looking for Engelhart's body. Wednesday investigators went looking in a forest area about an hour outside of Hermiston.   

HD DOPPLER 6i
/