Man accused of slaying prominent Somerset attorney might rely on insanity defense

BY BILL ESTEP December 3, 2014

Clinton D. Inabnitt’s attorney filed notice Tuesday of the potential insanity defense.

At a hearing Tuesday, a psychiatrist testified that Inabnitt, 40, is schizophrenic and delusional, but refuses to take medication to deal with his mental illness.

Inabnitt is charged with murder in the June 27 slaying of Mark Stanziano, 57.

Inabnitt, who lived in an apartment across the street from Stanziano’s office in downtown Somerset, is charged with ambushing the attorney as he arrived for work, walking into the street and shooting Stanziano several times.

There were a number of witnesses, including a Pulaski County sheriff’s detective who ordered Inabnitt to put down his gun after the shooting. Inabnitt complied and the detective handcuffed him.

Inabnitt told police he heard voices and had been bothered by persistent ringing in his ears, and that he had received a message through the local newspaper telling him to kill Stanziano.

Dr. Amy Trivette, a psychiatrist from the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, said at a hearing Tuesday that Inabnitt is not currently competent to stand trial, said the prosecutor, Commonwealth’s Attorney Eddy Montgomery.

That does not mean Inabnitt won’t be tried, however.

Circuit Judge David Tapp authorized the center to treat Inabnitt with anti-psychotic drugs, against his will if necessary.

Trivette had said in a letter before the hearing that such treatment would decrease Inabnitt’s symptoms and improve the likelihood he would be competent to stand trial later.

Inabnitt’s attorney, Richard B. Leary, said he opposed involuntarily medicating Inabnitt. One concern is that the medication could compromise Inabnitt’s ability to participate in his defense, Leary said.

The issue of competency deals with whether a defendant is capable of assisting in his or her defense. That is a different issue than insanity, which deals with whether a person was rational enough to knowingly commit a crime.

Tapp put off further action in the case for 60 days to allow time to treat Inabnitt.
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