Criminal Justice

Law Experts Review Serial Murder Suspect’s Mental Health

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January 5, 2015 — CROWN POINT (AP) — Indiana law experts say the mental health of a 43-year-old Gary man who is accused of fatally strangling two women and suspected of killing five others could complicate the case, but  it should not prevent the state from seeking the death penalty.

Darren Vann is charged with murder in the deaths of 19-year-old Afrikka Hardy and 35-year-old Anith Jones of Merrillville.

Valparaiso University Law School Dean Andrea Lyon told the “Times” that even if records show Vann has a history of mental illness, the state can still seek the death penalty.

Lyon says the defense could argue that Vann isn’t fit for trial or claim insanity.  But Lyon says it is difficult to prove that a defendant is insane and not fit for trial.

[Photo courtesy Lake County Sheriff’s Dept.]


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