• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Exantus trial postponed until Jan. 2, 2018

A jury trial scheduled to begin next week for the Indiana man accused of killing a 6-year-old boy in the child's Versailles home has been postponed until Jan. 2, 2018. Commonwealth's Attorney Gordie Shaw has filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Ronald Exantus. The 33-year-old has been charged with murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree assault and fourth-degree assault. According to Versailles Police, Logan Tipton was stabbed to death in his bedroom in December 2015. Two of his siblings suffered non-life threatening injuries before their father was able to get a kitchen knife away from Exantus. Special Judge Phil Patton previously granted a defense motion to move the trial from Woodford County. In granting this change of venue, Patton ruled that Fayette County was "the closest contiguous county where a fair and impartial jury can be seated" because of the "immense amount of media coverage received by this case..." Former Woodford Circuit Judge Rob Johnson ruled (before his appointment to the Kentucky Court of Appeals in March) that Exantus was competent to stand trial on a charge of murder. After being notified by the defense of its intention to assert a defense of insanity at trial, the commonwealth's attorney filed a motion for a second mental evaluation of Exantus by the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center (KCPC). Defense attorneys had previously asked for a continuance citing Johnson's appointment to the Court of Appeals and pending motions - filed before Judge Patton was assigned to the case. They argued those circumstance made moving forward with a jury trial in August problematic. Exantus, a former nurse in Indianapolis, who remains lodged in the Woodford County Detention Center, with his bond set at $1 million, is scheduled to return to Woodford Circuit Court for a status hearing on Friday, Nov. 3, at 10:30 a.m.

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