Mom wants Logan’s Law to bring justice for victims
Heather Tipton, whose 6-year-old son Logan was stabbed to death in her family’s Versailles home, hopes to gain support for Logan’s Law so other helpless victims of violent crime get the justice they deserve, she said.
“I feel like killers of helpless victims, especially if they’re caught in the act and confess, need to be held accountable with stricter penalties…,” said Tipton. She identifies helpless victims as children, the elderly or disabled.
“There should never be a two-and-a-half-year wait for a trial and then a jury say, Oh, he’s not guilty by reason of insanity,” said Tipton.
Ronald Exantus, an Indianapolis nurse, was found not guilty of murder by reason of insanity by a Fayette County jury – two-and-a-half years after her son’s death in December 2015.
The jury did recommend that Exantus serve up to 20 years in prison after finding him guilty, but mentally ill on three counts of assault.
“This man is eligible for parole (in) December 2019 – how does that work when you are a confessed child killer on camera? Said you did it,” Tipton said.
She remains baffled by the jury’s finding.
“How are you insane when you walk in my door? And then you flip a switch and you’re mentally ill when you stab my daughter. And then you flip another switch and you’re insane when you kill my son…,” she said.
Tipton said she has started a petition to gain public support for Logan’s Law, but needs the help of lawmakers so killers of helpless victims like her son face stricter penalties than what they are being given now.
“These people that are killing people like this and they’re walking because they’re abusing the insanity defense, it’s uncalled for and it’s unnecessary and it should not happen,” said Tipton.
Tipton and her family have organized a march down North Main Street to the courthouse prior to Exantus’ sentencing in Woodford Circuit Court on April 24. “We just want people to know that it is not just us – it is our community that is upset about this whole verdict and everything that happened,” said Tipton.
“We want people to know that this is wrong,” she added. “Baby killers, child killers, anybody that’s a killer of a helpless victim should not be up for parole in a year. That should not be an option.”
Reflecting on Logan’s short life, Tipton said he loved hugging people and telling them he loved them. And he always had a smile on his face.
“All five of my kids,” she explained, “I could wake them up in the morning. The other four would be cranky, mad, whatever. He would always sit straight up and give me a big hug and say, ‘I love you mommy. Good morning.’”
She said Logan always had that pleasant, uplifting attitude from her earliest memories of him. On nights when she was waiting tables and didn’t get home until 11 at night, “He’d give me a hug and say, ‘I love you mommy. How was your day?’ My whole day would just melt away,” she said.
As for her other children, she said, “They’re healing in their own individual, little ways because kids are resilient. They’re more resilient than me.
“I have my days where I’m down, and my kids come up to me and hug me and love on me and bring me up. And then they have their days where they’re down and that’s what I’m there for, is to help them and bring them up.”
Tipton said her children tell her that they know where their brother is now – he’s in their hearts.