• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Exantus murder trial moved to Feb. 26

Special Judge Phil Patton has rescheduled the jury trial of an Indiana man charged with murdering a 6-year-old boy in his family's Versailles home. During a hearing on Oct. 27, Patton moved Ronald Exantus's jury trial to Feb. 26, 2018, in a Fayette County courtroom and also denied motion by defense attorneys to exclude the death penalty. Commonwealth's Attorney Gordie Shaw has previously filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty for Exantus, who has been charged with murder, first-degree burglary, two counts of first-degree assault and fourth-degree assault. Six-year-old Logan Tipton was stabbed to death in his bedroom in December 2015. Two of his siblings suffered non-life threatening injuries before their father got a kitchen knife away from Exantus, according to Versailles Police. Exantus has previously been found competent to face a murder charge at trial by former Woodford Circuit Judge Rob Johnson. Because of delays in getting mental health evaluations and reports from expert witnesses, Patton said proceeding with a jury trial on Jan. 2, 2018, as previously scheduled, was "pretty well impossible." "If we were to go to trial and both sides were not adequately prepared on the issue of mental health, then we would be at substantial risk of whatever happening (at trial) resulting in a reversal by an appellate court," Patton explained.

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