Case: State of Minnesota v. T.D.
Charge: First Degree Burglary
Result: Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness (Insanity Defense)
Details: The client, T.D., was diagnosed with PTSD due to his service in Iraq. Unfortunately, his combat injury caused him to experience other scary and unfamiliar symptoms, which ultimately would be diagnosed as bipolar disorder. Only days after learning he was had bi-polar disorder, T.D. broke into a stranger’s home and was arrested after threatening the scared man with a steel rod. He was experiencing a manic episode as a result of his bipolar disorder.
When Mr. London spoke to T.D. he immediately knew T.D. would never have committed these acts but-for his mental illness. Mr. London‘s deep understanding of bipolar and other mental health disorders made it relatively easy for him to explain to the Hennepin County Attorney (the prosecutor) why the incident occurred and how T.D. was not guilty under Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 20.02.
Rule 20.02 explains the circumstances under which an individual is not to be held at fault for his or her actions due to his or her mental health. Minnesota uses the strictest standard for evaluating the defense of “Not guilty by reason of mental illness,” AKA “the insanity defense.” This standard is named after the Defendant who first successfully argued it, and it has come to be known as the McNaughton Defense. After a mental health evaluation, T.D. was confirmed to have both PTSD and bipolar. Working with a mental health professional, Mr. London convinced the Hennepin County Attorneys office to not object, and T.D. was found Not Guilty by Reason of Mental Illness.
He is doing extremely well today. He is health happy and under the supervision of a private doctor. Most importantly, he is living freely with his fiancé rather than been stuck in prison.