LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A former Fayette County Commonwealth's Attorney says he is disappointed in the jury's not guilty verdict in the case of an Indiana man who stabbed a six-year-old to death.
"I've picked a lot of juries in my career, and you never know what you are going to get," said Ray Larson, who spent more than three decades as Fayette County's top prosecutor.
Larson says he was surprised to see the not guilty verdict for Ronald Exantus, who was charged with murder in the death of six-year-old Versailles boy Logan Tipton in December 2015.
"They sure poo-pooed in their shoe when they did it," Larson says.
The jury did find Exantus guilty but mentally ill on charges of assault involving injuries to Tipton’s sisters and father. Exantus’ defense team admits he stabbed and killed Tipton in December of 2015, but said it was the result of a psychotic break.
"How can you say that he knew right from wrong when he stabbed the girl. Oops. Didn't know right from wrong when he stabbed the boy, and oops, he's back to knowing right from wrong when he did whatever he did to the dad," Larson says, "That is truly inconsistent, and I don't get it."
Larson speculates the jury was either confused about the situation or was unwilling to convict someone of murder, but he does say he saw something happen in this case that he never saw in his prosecutorial career.
"I can't remember ever having a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict," Larson says, "It's not around much especially when you have the option of this guilty but mentally ill verdict."
The jury recommended a 20-year sentence on the assault conviction.