An Indianapolis man was found not guilty by reason of insanity in the 2015 murder of a 6-year-old boy, and the child’s family is livid.
Ronald Exantus’ trial lasted six days before the jury came to the verdict of not guilty of murder and burglary in the death of Logan Tipton.
He was found not guilty but mentally ill on assault charges.
Exantus, a dialysis nurse, was charged with murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of second-degree assault and fourth-degree assault and his fate was left to a 12-person jury.
“It’s not fair!” people screamed when the judge delivered the jury’s decision. Logan’s family left the courtroom in anger Monday night.
Exantus broke into Logan’s Versailles home in December 2015, and stabbed the boy to death as he slept, WKYT reports.
“The jury returned the only verdict it could under the law,” Public defender Bridget Hofler said after the verdict was declared. “But there is no victory here for anybody. The Tiptons are devastated and we feel for them.”
Logan’s sister, Koral Tipton, said a man with dreadlocks “came at her with the butter knife” and cut her nose. Dakota Tipton, also one of Logan’s sisters, was stabbed in the back.
Logan’s father, Dean Tipton, fought with Exantus and was able to hold him down until police arrived.
A medical examiner determined that Logan died from stab wounds to his head, neck, and back.
Exantus told investigators that “Grey’s Anatomy” “made me think of knives for surgery” and that he had “re-enacted surgery.” He had binge-watched the medical show prior to murdering the boy, his defense team said.
“We don’t feel that he is liable under the law for punishment,” public defender Bridget Hofler said at the trial Thursday. “We feel he needs treatment, and that’s what we would like to accomplish for him.”
Prosecutors pushed for the death penalty and argued Exantus knew exactly what he was doing because he apologized when police got to the scene and immediately asked for an attorney.
“I’m sorry God,” he had said.
Jurors heard a different story, the Star reports.
There’s no doubt Exantus killed Logan Tipton.
So why would jurors find him not guilty by reason of insanity when they had the option of guilty but mentally ill? Especially since they found him guilty but mentally ill on the assault charges. It doesn’t make sense to me. https://t.co/QsYRNutaRw
— Jennifer Palumbo (@JenNimePalumbo) March 20, 2018
It was testified that Exantus had previously been heard barking like a dog and ripping out his dreadlocks.
The defense also stated he was not acting rationally as he had driven from Indianapolis to an entirely new city without any sort of plan and killed the boy, the Indy Star reports.
“This is not a man with a plan. This is not a man with intention. This is insanity,” said public defender Kim Green, who was defending Exantus.
Both the defense and prosecutors agreed that he was responsible for the death of Logan.
The jury found Exantus not guilty but mentally ill on the charges of assault in the assaults of the boy’s siblings but Hofler filed a motion for Exantus to be given the same verdict as for the murder and burglary charges — not guilty by reason of insanity, WKYT reports.
“There was no evidence that Exantus’ mental state was different when he committed the assaults than it was when he committed the murder and burglary,” Hofler wrote.
A formal sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday.