Recent Court Cases: Mental Illness

STATE OF OHIO, Plaintiff-Appellee, vs. LOGAN A. MURPHY, Defendant-Appellant.
Case No. 15CA3475
2016-Ohio-1165; 2016 Ohio App. LEXIS 1064
March 10, 2016

This document is from the Court of Appeals of Ohio found in Ross County regarding an appeal to the outcome of a prior court case where the defendant, Logan A. Murphy, appealed the conviction and sentence of a judgment where a jury found him guilty of aggravated murder.  The background for this case is that in the Ross Correctional Institution and placed in a cell with another inmate on January 10th, 2013. The following day a guard at the institution found the inmate unresponsive, and he was later declared dead.  Originally the appellant claimed that the other inmate had committed suicide but on February 28, 2013 he confessed to the killing, stating that someone named Mitch told him to “send [the inmate] to Jesus”.

The grounds for the review by the Appellant was that during the trial the defendant was deprived of his rights in two ways: he was deprived of the “right to the effective assistance of trial counsel when the trial counsel failed to have his treating psychologist…qualified as an expert”, and that he was “denied his right to a due process and a fair trial when the jury found him guilty of aggravated murder against the manifest weight of evidence.” During the course of the trial Dr. Theis, the psychologist at the prison who had evaluated the appellant’s behavior during the time before the murder, was brought to testify but the state argued that the court should not allow the prison psychologist to testify as an expert. The court subsequently allowed her to give a testimony regarding what she observed but didn’t allow her to testify concerning a mental health diagnosis, to which she would have stated that the appellant’s behavior was indicative to depression or a schizoaffective disorder. The outcome of the appeal was that the decision was maintained due to that at the time of the offense the appellant had a clear understanding that the actions he took were wrong and would have had negative ramifications, and thus did not suffer from impaired judgement or a loss of reality at the time of the incident.

Forensic Summary by Viktor Naumovski


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