A prominent California social justice activist has been ruled insane and sentenced to 39 years in a psychiatric facility for the stabbing murder of a woman and the attempted murder of a second woman in Berkeley.
Pablo Gomez Jr., 24, was majoring in Chicanx/Latinx studies at UC Berkeley when they stabbed and killed 27-year-old Emilie Inman at her home on Jan. 6, 2017. After hiding her body in the garden, Gomez went on to stab Kiana Schmitt, who survived.
Gomez identifies as non-binary, uses they/them pronouns, and was heavily involved in the Queer Alliance Resource Center on campus. Gomez was a prominent left-wing student activist advocating for issues related to Black Lives Matter, climate change and sexual violence. They was part of a group of activists who shut down the freeway in response to the police-involved killing of Michael Brown.
On Friday, an Alameda County Superior Court judge found Gomez not guilty by reason of insanity. Gomez was deemed unfit to stand trial and was sentenced to 39 years in a state mental hospital.
After the ruling, around a dozen of Inman’s family members and friends cried as they spoke to the court. Emilie’s mother, Nathalie Inman, described how Gomez had brutally “butchered” her daughter and took meticulous steps to hide her body.
“So who is responsible?” she asked. “Apparently, no one.”
Emilie Inman was a French national who did not know Gomez. She studied environmental science at UC Santa Cruz and was previously a middle school science instructor in Lafayette, California.
Kiana Schmitt, the survivor, was a friend of Gomez who had driven him to the home of Inman believing it to be the residence of Gomez’s friend. Schmitt found Gomez in the yard with a knife and drenched in blood. They proceeded to stab her but she managed to escape despite her injuries.
Gomez then fled to Southern California, where they is from, but was arrested the next day.
Since being charged, many organizations previously linked to Gomez have rushed to scrub their associations with them. The Alliance for Climate Education, who hosted a climate change event where Gomez spoke with former Cal. governor Jerry Brown, removed a 2014 article praising Gomez, who was a senior fellow with the group. The Post Millennial reached out to the organization for comment but did not hear back by publication.
In Sept. 2016, Gomez was filmed confronting and grabbing promotional material from the Berkeley College Republicans, but Gomez’s militant left-wing beliefs goes back years. Despite the positive reputation Gomez had for their radical activism in the Bay Area (Gomez was even featured in a Vice documentary on climate change), their social media posts showed an individual with extremist beliefs.
“The United States is a violent white supremacist settler empire whose only fate is annihilation,” Gomez tweeted five weeks before their violent rampage. Nearly every post on their social media accounts is about Black Lives Matter, queer issues and videos from protests. Gomez also made numerous posts expressing a virulent hatred of white people.
On their Tumblr, now deleted, an extended quote from Willie Osterweil’s “In Defense of Looting” is posted. The quote encourages robbery and shoplifting as a politically justified act against capitalism.
After the judge’s ruling on Friday, Emilie’s father, Scott Inman, spoke to the court. “There is no restorative justice for this type of crime,“ he said. “Killing my daughter with a knife in this manner has broken us.”
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