"This is on you. If he gets out, he'll do it again". The words spoken by Trina Evans to Dr Douglas Lehrer reflected her frustration with the outcome of the trial for the man who had killed her husband. A three-judge panel had found Larry Evans Jr. not guilty by reason of insanity for the 19 charges stemming from a December 26, 2007 rampage that left two men dead.
During the bench trial, Evans, 40, admitted to opening fire outside the Mansfield, Ohio residence of his brother, Brian Evans. Both Officer Evans and a neighbour, Robert Houseman, were killed. Evan's sister, Kim, was also shot but recovered. Three mental health experts including Dr. Lehrer testified to the defendant's mental state. Dr. Lehrer diagnosed him as suffering from Bipolar Disorder with psychotic features. Despite being charged with a capital offense, the judges in the case ordered Evans to be held in maximum security at the Timothy B. Moritz Mental Health Center in Columbus, Ohio until further order. The detention order will be reviewed every two years.
Despite agreement by mental experts hired by the prosecution and defense concerning the defendant's mental state at the time of the killings, family and friends of the victims expressed outrage over the verdict. A friend of one of the deceased had to be physically removed from the courtroom and Brian Evans' fellow police officers called for stronger legislation concerning insanity verdicts.