A New York man, who said he had to kill his wife in order to save his son from being slain by a cult group, has pleaded guilty but mentally ill.

Duane Hobart, 25, entered his plea Tuesday before 2nd District Judge Ronald O. Hyde. The judge scheduled a mental health hearing for July 21 to determine what sentence he should impose on the defendant.Hobart had spent some time in a mental health facility in New York before traveling to Utah from Arkansas last November in search of his wife and 1-year-old son.

When he found them, he told police, he beat his wife, Brenda, 24, to death with a lamp and a bedpost to protect his son. He said his wife was part of a national cult whose members molested and killed children.

Hobart was found incompetent to stand trial and was taken to the Utah State Hospital in Provo where he underwent treatment. He later was brought back to Ogden where he entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

A trial was set on Tuesday for Hobart on a second-degree murder charge, but he changed his plea.