A Kentucky family is devastated after a man who killed a 6-year-old boy and assaulted the child’s family members was found not guilty earlier this month by reason of insanity.
The Indy Star reports that a Lexington jury concluded that Ronald Exantus was not guilty in the stabbing death of Logan Tipton, a child who lost his life after Exantus broke into the little boy’s home and repeatedly stabbed him.
According to court documents, Exantus, a dialysis nurse at the time, was “psychotic” in December 2015, when he got in a vehicle and drove from Indiana to Versailles, Kentucky. He then randomly chose the Tipton residence, broke into the home, found a large kitchen knife inside and began stabbing little Logan. Logan’s sister, Koral, jumped on Exantus in an attempt to save her brother, but was severely injured, with stab wounds to her stomach and the tip of her nose.
Logan’s other sister, Dakota, suffered a stab wound to the neck. The ordeal ended when Logan’s father, Dean Tipton, tackled Exantus to the ground and held him there until police arrived.
“He stabbed him [Logan] 20 times in the neck and back of his head,” Logan’s great-aunt, Janice Ogden, told CrimeOnline.
Exantus’ defense lawyers said that they weren’t disputing the fact that their client stabbed and killed Logan. Yet, they argued he suffered a mental breakdown when the incident occurred. Exantus was admitted to the state corrections psychiatric center after his arrest, where he apparently told psychiatrists that he heard some of his former patients speaking to him in Creole. He also “barked like a dog” and tried to tear his hair out, according to court documents.
In 2016, a judge said that Exantus was competent to stand trial, given that he knew of the consequences of his actions. Regardless, the defense still convinced the jury that Exantus was mentally insane. Ogden told CrimeOnline that she felt jurors were tired, stressed, and deadlocked on a decision, and they simply compromised to conclude the trial.
“Obviously, this verdict was some sort of compromise among the jurors, they chose both ‘sides.’ They were deadlocked and tired. The judge read the Allen Charge (aka the Dynamite charge) saying some people may need to change their minds to reach a unanimous decision. A short time later, they asked when they could stop and were basically told they were staying until a verdict was reached…..obviously they were tired or coerced and I think the split means you say not guilty and we’ll say guilty on the other charges.”
The jury found Exantus guilty of assaulting Logan’s two sisters and his father, and recommended that he serve 20 years behind bars, according to the Lexington Herald Ledger. The sentence recommendation comes with the eligibility of parole, meaning there’s a chance that Exantus could be released by next year.
“It’s an inconsistent verdict,” said Woodford County Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Keith Eardley. “I don’t think it makes legal or logical sense. I’m very disappointed.”
“How can you say that he knew right from wrong when he stabbed the girl. Oops. Didn’t know right from wrong when he stabbed the boy, and oops, he’s back to knowing right from wrong when he did whatever he did to the dad,” former Fayette County Commonwealth’s AttorneyRay Larson added, according to WKYT. “That is truly inconsistent, and I don’t get it.”
Exantus’ sentencing lies with hands of Judge Phil Patton. The little boy’s family is hoping for the max sentence, but they’re also hoping to somehow get a new trial for Logan’s murder.
Sentencing is scheduled for April 24. Check back with CrimeOnline as we continue to cover the case.