Judges: Man Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

Judges: Man Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity

A panel of three judges ruled on Tuesday that a man charged with the murder of his brother and neighbor was insane at the time of the killings.

Larry Evans Jr., 44, would have faced the death penalty had he been convicted. The insanity finding applied to all 19 charges, including two charges of aggravated murder, stemming from the shooting deaths of police officer Brian Evans (his brother) and Robert Houseman.

Experts Agreed

Evans admitted to the killings, but the judges agreed that Evans was not aware of the wrongfulness of his actions. Three mental health experts also agreed that Evans was insane at the time of the shootings. One expert diagnosed Evans with bipolar disorder type I – manic severe with episodes of psychosis.

“I’ve been doing this for 35 years. This is one of the best criminal defense cases I’ve ever seen,” said defense attorney Bernie Davis.

After the Verdict

Evans was ordered to a maximum-security mental hospital, where his commitment will be reviewed by the court after six months, his lawyer said. Once the initial review is conducted, Evans’ case will be reviewed every two years.

“If his condition changes, he can receive a less restrictive confinement with supervised off-the-premises trips. It’s conceivable that he could be restored to sanity and be ready for release within five years or so. That’s what the statute says, and we fully expect the court to follow the law,” said Davis.

(Source: Mansfield News Journal)

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