06/28/2006

Man convicted of murder for shooting R.I. detective with his own gun

By ERIC TUCKER
Associated Press Writer

PROVIDENCE, R.I.- A man who was left alone with a detective during an interrogation was convicted of murder Tuesday for shooting the officer with his own gun last year inside police headquarters.

Esteban Carpio's insanity claims were rejected by a jury after more than two weeks of testimony that portrayed the defendant as either a psychotic man suffering from a mental breakdown or a calculating killer.

Carpio, 27, was alone with Detective Sgt. James Allen on April 16, 2005, while being questioned about a stabbing. The two men soon became locked in a struggle, and Allen was shot twice at close range with his own handgun.

Carpio escaped by jumping out a third-floor window and was captured about an hour later in downtown Providence.

Carpio's lawyer, Robert Sheketoff, said his client was insane at the time of the killing _ forcing jurors to decide not whether his client killed Allen but whether Carpio was too mentally ill to be held responsible for the shooting.

A psychologist and psychiatrist hired by the defense testified that Carpio was psychotic, although that was disputed by prosecutors, who said Carpio plotted his actions and knew exactly what he was doing.

Carpio was brought to police headquarters to be questioned about the stabbing of an 84-year-old woman earlier in the day. Police said he had not been arrested, so he was not handcuffed during the interview.

Carpio also was convicted Tuesday in the stabbing.

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