Recent Court Cases: Mental Illness

STATE OF OHIO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE vs. MICHAEL FITZGERALD, JR., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT
No. 102861
COURT OF APPEALS OF OHIO, EIGHTH APPELLATE DISTRICT, CUYAHOGA COUNTY
2016-Ohio-206; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 171
January 21, 2016, Released
January 21, 2016, Journalized

This case from the appeals court concerns the court rejecting the defendant’s attempt to change his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.  The background to this case was that Michael Fitzgerald was charged with 2 counts of assault, one count of disputing public services, and one count of domestic violence following an argument with his father. The court referred Fitzgerald to a psychiatric clinic for an evaluation, which led to an evaluation that Fitzgerald was not suffering from any severe mental illness on that day.  Following a change of counsel prompted by Fitzgerald and the new council attempted to change the plea which was objected by the state.

The main argument to the rejection of this appeal is that the initial evaluations stated that the defendant was sane and that there was a lack of expert testimony to support the change of plea was not addressed by the defense. As such, the appeal didn’t work as the defense did not put forth any testimony prior to attempting to change his plea, rejecting the assignment of error on the part of the court.

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/rod/docs/pdf/8/2016/2016-Ohio-206.pdf

Forensic Summary by Viktor Naumovski

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