“That’s a mountain that has to be climbed to see what the mental state was here of my client during the alleged commission of this crime,” he said.
Stanziano was shot repeatedly as he arrived at his law office. Inabnitt’s apartment is across the street from the law office, and police have said the two were well acquainted. Convenience store clerks said Stanziano sometimes paid for Inabnitt at the store.
Stanziano, 57, was known for taking high-profile cases. Before he died, he was representing Kenneth Allen Keith, a pastor charged with the murder of three people last year. He also represented a man charged with killing a former sheriff in a plot at a political rally in 2002.
Pulaski County sheriff’s Detective John Hutchinson, a witness to Stanziano’s shooting, on Wednesday described the harrowing moments when the rapid-fire shots rang out in downtown Somerset.
He said he was crossing a street when he heard what sounded like a vehicle backfiring but dreaded that it was a gunshot.
“I looked to my left and saw Mr. Inabnitt shooting Mr. Stanziano,” Hutchinson testified.
Hutchinson said he ran toward the shooter, took cover behind a gas pump at a convenience store, told customers to get back inside and called 911. He then ordered Inabnitt to drop his weapon, he said.
“At one point he turned toward me, I guess it was to see who it was,” Hutchinson said. “On the second command, he dropped his weapon.”
Hutchinson then handcuffed the suspect.
Hutchinson said he didn’t recall if Inabnitt said anything to him. He said he didn’t know how long it took police backup to arrive.
“It seemed like an eternity,” he said.
One witness remembered hearing Inabnitt scream “Hey” at Stanziano before the lawyer was gunned down.
(Photo Source: AP)