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Kinyua guilty but not criminally responsible in Morgan beating

Judge said Alexander Kinyua suffered from paranoid schizophrenia at the time of attack that left Joshua Ceasar blind

December 19, 2012|By Justin George and Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun

But then Ceasar noticed Kinyua kept a variety of weapons that included a machete and brass knuckles, authorities said. Ceasar said he watched Kinyua get a tattoo of a "portal" on top of his bald head.

On May 19, Rasin said, Kinyua took a nap and heard voices telling him Ceasar was a police snitch who was going to give him up on made-up charges. When Kinyua awoke, he waited for Ceasar inside his campus apartment. When Ceasar arrived, Kinyua surprised him. Caesar said the attack left him with cognitive issues and traumatic optic neuropathy caused by barbed wire striking a nerve.

Kinyua had believed Ceasar was involved in "domestic terrorism," Rasin said.

While Kinyua was on bail after arrest, Harford County authorities said, he killed and dismembered Agyei-Kodie in Kinyua's family home in late May or early June.

Because Kinyua's acceptance of the plea on Wednesday required that he be found competent to participate in court proceedings, delayed hearings in the Harford County case will likely proceed in January, Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly told The Baltimore Sun.

Cassilly said his office is paying a private psychiatrist to review the findings of the state's psychiatrists, because he questions whether Kinyua lacked criminal responsibility at the time he allegedly murdered Agyei-Kodie.

Cassilly said he wonders why Kinyua would dispose of parts of Agyei-Kodie in a dumpster, as he is alleged to have done, if he didn't understand his actions at the time.

"That somebody would take the time to dispose of the body?" Cassilly said. "Where does that act fit in terms of not being criminally responsible?"

A finding that Kinyua was not criminally responsible in the Harford case could open the door for a potential release back into the community — an outcome Cassilly said he is strongly against.

Byron Warnken, a criminal law professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, said it is unlikely that a private mental health evaluation will reach a different conclusion.

"Another psychiatrist isn't just going to say, 'OK, fine, if you want him to be [criminally responsible], we'll go that way,'" Warnken said. "I assume that a psychiatrist is going to have enough professional integrity that they're not going to do that."

After Kinyua was admitted in June to the Clifford T. Perkins state psychiatric hospital, medical staff recorded him putting buttons in his mouth and claiming he was being fed rotten meat, Rasin said. He believed the police were tapping his phones and talked about inventions he was making.

"He believed he was imprisoned," Rasin said. "He believed his family was dead and replaced with impostors."

All of these documented instances led Rasin to tell the court that she was convinced Kinyua was showing symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia well before the attack on Ceasar.

The judge asked Kinyua if he realized his sanity was deteriorating over the past several months.

"It happened in small bits," the deep-voiced and soft-spoken man said, calling it "almost untraceable."

"Did you tell anybody?" the judge asked.

"I thought it was normal," Kinyua responded.

jgeorge@baltsun.com

twitter.com/justingeorge

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