Not guilty, insanity pleas in case of botched body dump 

One of two men accused in the gruesome killing and botched body disposal of a 23-year-old San Bruno father claims he was insane at the time of the incident.

Brandon David Thompson, 27, and Nicholas Jose Vargas, 25, pleaded not guilty to the brutal April 10 killing on Wednesday during a superior court arraignment.

Vargus, but not Thompson, pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. Two doctors have been appointed to review Vargas’ case, Wagstaffe said.

According to San Mateo County prosecutors, Vargas beat Christopher Chastain with a pipe wrench and Thompson stabbed him twice following an argument inside Vargas’ parents’ Cypress Avenue home.

Vargas’ parents were asleep at the time of the murder, Wagstaffe said.

The pair allegedly dragged Chastain’s 300-pound body “outside and down the driveway, leaving a trail of blood for police to find,” prosecutors said.

But they couldn’t lift Chastain’s body into the trunk of a car, so they left him there, Wagstaffe said.

Thompson allegedly fled on public transit, and Vargas woke up his parents and said, “You know what, something’s gone wrong and I need help,” Wagstaffe said.

Vargas’ father called 911, he said.

Chastain was the father of a 3-year-old boy.

A jury trial is scheduled for May 21. The doctors’ reports on Vargas’ insanity claim are due March 13, Wagstaffe said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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