I wanted to share the results of a trial we finished last week. Our client was 76 years old when he shot and killed his wife of 55 years. He then shot himself in the face and stabbed himself deep enough that the responding EMS could see bone and lung tissue. This man had a history of mental health issues that dated back to 1959 and continued with multiple hospitalizations, and time off work in the 1980’s and again in 2007. In my 29 years of practice, I have never had a client with his history of mental health issues, and his willingness to get treatment for it when mental health issues were seen as a weakness instead of a disease.
Prior to the shooting his “medication was off.” The records indicated that he had mixed up the pills and ran out of some. His out of state general practitioner doubled his dose of anti-depressants via an email request. He did not have a face-to-face visit and was not monitored. Less than one month later he tragically shot his wife. We tried to resolve the case, but the only offer the State thought was appropriate was 15 years prison. He would have most likely died in prison serving that sentence, so we went to trial.
The team was amazing. Attorneys Mark Conan, Bradley Bonafacino, Roseanne Eckert, 2 doctors and a mental health counselor from the Jail (where he has been housed for the last 3.5 years) we were able to convince a jury that he was Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity. He won’t die in prison and we will have a hearing to see where he will be placed and monitored to make sure that he gets the mental health treatment that he requires.
The trial took 3.5 days and the jury deliberated into the night and next day. Remarkably, 3 of the jurors waited after they were excused to talk to us about their service and ask questions. Hiring a criminal defense attorney is no easy task. You have to do the research and make sure you are comfortable working with your attorney. Here are some tips on choosing the right type of attorney for your criminal defense matter.
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For informational purposes only, not legal advice.
Conan & Herman, P.A.
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