Sunday, August 19, 2012

John Du Pont Third Degree Murder And Mentally Ill

John Du Pont Third Degree Murder And Mentally Ill - John E. du Pont, a frustrated athlete who used his family’s fortune to surround himself with world-class wrestlers, was convicted today of killing the Olympic gold medalist David Schultz on the grounds of the country estate he had turned into a private training camp. After seven days of deliberations, the jury decided that Mr. du Pont, 58, was guilty of third-degree murder but mentally ill on Jan. 26, 1996, when he shot the wrestler three times at point-blank range with a .44-caliber Magnum revolver. He was also convicted of one count of simple assault for pointing the pistol at his security consultant.

Mr. du Pont is undergoing treatment at Norristown State Hospital and will go to prison only if the authorities decide he has been cured.

Dressed in the same blue sweatsuit he has worn since his arrest, his gray hair long and greasy after more than one year in custody, Mr. du Pont turned his gaunt face vaguely about the courtroom as the jury of six men and six women delivered the verdict.

”I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet,” said Mark Klugheight, a lawyer who is representing Mr. du Pont in a competency hearing for control of his fortune, which is estimated at $250 million. ”Sometimes he gets things right away; sometimes he doesn’t.”

Third-degree murder means that Mr. du Pont meant to kill when he pulled the trigger, but did not plan it. It also means that Mr. du Pont could be home in five years. State law sets a maximum sentence of 20 years for the crime, with guidelines recommending 5 to 10 years.

”We will definitely push for the lower sentence, on the grounds of mental issues,” said the chief defense lawyer, Thomas Bergstrom. ”This will give John a chance to get the help he needs without punishment that’s unduly harsh.” Sentencing is scheduled for April 22 in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas.

Nancy Schultz, the slain athlete’s widow, was red-eyed and mournful after the verdict. But she said, ”It is comforting to know du Pont was not above the law and held responsible for David’s death.” She also thanked ”all the wrestlers who provided comforting laughs and big shoulders” for her children, Alexander, 10 and Danielle, 7.

Speaking after the verdict was announced, District Attorney Patrick Meehan said, ”Some thought John du Pont, the wealthiest murder defendant in the history of the United States, would use his great fortune to escape justice.” He added, ”He can now get the mental treatment he needs, and that is justice.”

John Du Pont Third Degree Murder And Mentally Ill Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Arm Aritn

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