Man accused of killing R.I. officer was insane, lawyer says
By ERIC TUCKER
Associated Press Writer
PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island- A man accused of killing a detective inside police headquarters with the officer's own weapon is psychotic and should be acquitted by reason of insanity, his lawyer said Thursday during opening statements in his trial.
Esteban Carpio, 27, is accused of shooting Detective Sgt. James Allen last year as he was being questioned about the stabbing of an 84-year-old woman.
"Your job is to decide the basic issues: Crazy? Nuts? Looney tunes? Or was he not?" defense lawyer Robert Sheketoff told the jury, as he conceded that there was "overwhelming" evidence showing that Carpio shot Allen and stabbed the woman.
Sheketoff said doctors who examined Carpio considered him psychotic and that family members, concerned about his mental state, sought psychiatric help for him.
Prosecutor Paul Daly said Carpio acted deliberately when he shot Allen.
"He killed a public servant," Daly said. "He killed a person who spent his whole adult life serving the public, serving us. He killed our Jimmy Allen."
Prosecutors have said they plan to seek life in prison without parole, the toughest punishment possible in Rhode Island, if Carpio is convicted.
Carpio and Allen were alone inside a conference room when Carpio allegedly locked the door, grabbed Allen's weapon and shot him twice at close range. He escaped by jumping out a third-story window and was captured on the street after a violent struggle with police officers.
Carpio appeared at his first court hearing with a battered and swollen face that was partially obscured by a white protective mask. His family alleged he had been beaten up by police, but an FBI-led investigation concluded that officers did not use excessive force.