Testimony wraps up in Exantus murder trial

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Today was day five of the Ronald Exantus trial.

Exantus is charged with the murder of six-year-old Logan Tipton of Versailles.

Thursday the jury heard final testimony for the defense where the focus was on whether or not Exantus was criminally insane at the time of the murder.

Things got heated in the courtroom when a psychologist for the defense took the stand and shared his diagnosis.

“Mr. Exantus suffers from a major mental illness and at the time of this tragic event was in the midst of a psychotic episode which prevented him from conforming his behavior to the standard of law,” said Dr. Kenneth Benedict, a psychologist from North Carolina.

Dr. Benedict, took the stand Thursday testifying it was mental illness, not a synthetic drug, that caused Exantus to go insane and stab six-year-old Logan Tipton to death.

“I believe he remains in a much more fragile state and I think he’s going to require a lot more psychiatric attention,” said Dr. Benedict.

But the prosecution was critical of Dr. Benedict’s diagnosis, saying doctors at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, where Exantus was treated, believe his psychotic episode was drug-induced.

The fact of whether or not Exantus’ psychotic episode was substance-induced or triggered by mental illness is important in this case because it could decide whether or not the jury finds him guilty.

The defense is arguing Exantus is not guilty by reason of insanity but the prosecution is saying his insanity was caused by his choice to take drugs,therefore he’s guilty.

The trial will resume Monday, when jurors will hear closing arguments and then begin deliberation.

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