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Chatsworth Man Pleads Guilty to Crime Spree, Declared Insane

He stabbed his mother and carjacked a car with a 4-year-old boy in the back seat.

A Chatsworth man involved in a wild crime spree in which he stabbed his mother and carjacked a car with a 4-year-old boy in the back seat nearly two years ago pleaded guilty Friday to 14 charges.

Following the guilty plea, San Fernando Superior Court Judge David Gelfand determined that Aaron Clay Tanner, 32, was insane at the time of the crimes.

Tanner is due back in court Nov. 9, when it's expected he will be committed to a state mental hospital for 40 years and eight months -- the maximum confinement for the crimes, according to Deputy District Attorney Richard Quinones.

Authorities said shortly after the crimes that Tanner had stabbed his mother and pushed her out of their car on the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway at the Golden State (5) Freeway interchange near Mission Hills before crashing into another vehicle in a Newhall park-and-ride lot.

A woman in the lot told sheriff's deputies she was assaulted by a man who carjacked her PT Cruiser and drove off with her 4-year-old son in the back seat. The PT Cruiser collided with another car in the lot and later rear-ended another vehicle before it was backed into a tree in Canyon Country.

Tanner then took a sheriff's patrol car after a deputy rushed to help the boy who was in the crashed PT Cruiser near Carl Boyer Avenue and Golden Valley Road, and the stolen law enforcement vehicle crashed into a 4-foot-high block wall in Saugus before it went over an embankment, dropped about 100 feet and caught fire after rolling several times, authorities said.

Sheriff's deputies struggled with Tanner before taking him into custody, officials said.

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