Trials & Litigation

Hospital released man while he was delusional, says widow of slain attorney in lawsuit

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The widow of a Kentucky lawyer shot and killed by a man diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia has sued the hospital that released the man 44 days before the murder.

Defendant Clinton D. Inabnit on Monday pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, for the 2014 death of Mark Stanziano, the Herald-Leader reports.

According to the negligence lawsuit filed by Bethany Stanziano, Inabnit had made several threats to kill her husband, but psychiatrists at Eastern State Hospital gave no warnings to Stanziano or police. The Fayette Circuit Court action also alleges that the hospital treated Inabnit four times before the shooting, and he was still delusional each time he was released.

According the article Bethany Stanziano is an attorney and represents herself in the case.

Inabnit lived across the street from Mark Stanziano’s law office, according to various news reports. The 57-year-old criminal defense lawyer was murdered on the sidewalk in front of his office the morning of June 27, 2014. Inabnit reportedly approached Stanziano the night before for help with problems. It was also reported that Inabnit threatened Stanziano during the exchange.

Inabnit, whose arrest record includes public intoxication, disorderly conduct and terroristic threatening, reportedly told police that he was mad Stanziano wouldn’t help him with an undisclosed problem, and laughed about the problem. The nature of Inabnit’s problem was not disclosed, but police said that it did not appear to be something a lawyer could help with.

According to a previous Herald-Ledger article, Inabnit often cornered Stanziano to talk, and the week of the shooting, the lawyer reportedly bought lunch and doughnuts for Inabnit. Bethany Stanziano told the paper that her husband had offered to help Inabnit many times, including paying for a doctor visit, so Inabnit could get back on this medications. She said her late husband never laughed at Inabnit, whose plea agreement calls for a 20-year sentence.

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