Ronald Exantus Trial: Exantus found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity

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Hillary Thornton/Twitter(WKYT)
Published: Mar. 19, 2018 at 8:47 AM EDT
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UPDATE: (3/19/2018, 11:35 p.m.):

The jury finds Ronald Exantus not guilty by reason of insanity on a charge of murder and burglary.

The jury finds Exantus guilty but mentally ill on the charges of assault.

The jury will return at 1 p.m. on Tuesday for the sentencing phase of the trial.


Closing arguments in the Ronald Exantus murder trial took place Monday morning.

Exantus is accused of murdering Logan Tipton, 6, on Dec. 7, 2015. Authorities say the Indianapolis man broke into the Tipton's home in Versailles and stabbed the child several times before the boy's father held the man down until police arrived.

Monday marks the sixth day of the trial. Jury selection began February 26.

The defense argued that for three months, Exantus' mind was trapped in an insane nightmare.

They say that insane nightmare began in December 2015, the month he drove his vehicle from Indianapolis to a random home in Versailles Kentucky, where he went inside that home and fatally stabbed 6 year old Logan Tipton as he slept.

They say the signs were subtle and puzzle pieces leading up to the breaking point.

The defense told the jury the Commonwealth has not met its burden of proving the mental state of Exantus and that there was no intent behind his actions. They asked jurors to return a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

The Commonwealth argued that the defense has failed to meet their responsibility of proving that Exantus is mentally ill.

Attorneys picked apart the credentials and testimony of the defense's medical expert, calling his report sloppy.

Both the prosecution and the defense admit Exantus killed Tipton.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The defense team is seeking a verdict of not guilty by reason of mental insanity.

The jury now has the case. They are deliberating on five charges: murder, first degree burglary, two counts of second degree assault and fourth degree assault.

The jury can find Exantus either not guilty, not guilty by reason of insanity, guilty but mentally ill or guilty.

The decision does have to be unanimous by the 12-person jury.