A Question of Mens Rea

Obviously, the question as to Kenny's mental state leading up to the shooting is germane. This was a key question that trial counsel had an obligation to answer with competent evidence and/or testimony and the jury had a responsibility to determine during deliberations (FN 32). In support of this proposition consider for a moment information provided by Bryan Manion (Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor) and Richard Springston (Trial Juror). 

  According to Mr. Manion, after counseling Kenny for about a year (on a weekly basis) he opined that Kenny acted "mindlessly" and "without thought" when he fired the gun (15) times. This assessment was made taking into account that Kenny had no previous history of violent behavior (FN 33). Similarly, following Kenny's trial Mr. Springston corresponded with Kenny's attorney. Through those letters he indicated the jury had been close to voting second degree murder verdict. Mr. Springston further explained how he wanted to arrive at a better verdict, but despite his expectations for a psychiatrist to explain what was going on in Kenny's head at the time of the shooting nothing was provided. Mr. Springston felt as if Kenny had acted "mindlessly", but needed evidence to support that conclusion (FN 34). 

   Beyond the opinions expressed by Mr. Manion and Mr. Springston many other witnesses concur that Kenny did not act himself prior to and following the shooting. By all accounts Kenny had been acting bizaar, irrational, crazy, erratic, as well as experiencing sexual problems, difficulty walking, memory loss, and suicidal tendencies (FN 35). All of these behaviors described by witnesses are consistent with symptoms connected with (an undiagnosed) bipolar disorder and (previous unknown) involuntary intoxication due to taking Zoloft (FN 36).