Family’s outrage heard at Exantus sentencing
Logan Tipton’s family members spoke prior to Ronald Exantus being sentenced to 20 years in prison for two counts of second-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree assault. Exantus was found guilty, but mentally ill on those charges.
“One day,” said Dean Tipton, “he may get to hug his children again. I won’t (be able to hug Logan again). When I go to see my son, I have to go to the graveyard.”
“Our lives,” he said, “have been taken away from us.”
Tipton and his wife both called Exantus a coward for taking the life of a 6-year-old boy.
“I can’t help but feel like he should be made to look at us as we speak,” said Heather Tipton. “When you murdered my son, you slaughtered my entire family – each and every one of us, all seven of us. None of us are the same…” Exantus has “literally gotten away with murder,” she said.
“…he’s getting away with a slap on the wrist,” echoed her husband.
“This is what’s wrong with America today. That’s why you have kids … shooting up schools. This is why you have people shooting up a Waffle House (referencing a recent mass shooting) … They’re not scared of the time that they’re going to get,” said Dean Tipton.
Heather Tipton said she remains baffled by a Fayette County jury’s finding in March that Exantus was guilty of assaulting her husband and two of their children, but not guilty of murdering her son, Logan.
“I don’t know how they came to their conclusion. It is completely inconsistent and that is coming from a licensed psychologist that I see monthly,” said Tipton. “That it is virtually impossible to flip a switch from insane to mentally ill, insane to mentally ill … It is impossible.” As a licensed nurse, she said it would have been very easy for Exantus to exhibit symptoms of mental disorders.
“It’s not going to be hard for him at all to prove to anybody that he’s sane,” she added, “because he is sane.” Exantus could be eligible for parole as early as December 2019.
While Heather Tipton said she’s lost all faith in the judicial system, she does not want other families of helpless victims to hear a jury’s verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity after a defense attorney acknowledges that the person charged with murder did in fact kill someone.
Logan’s sister, Koral, paused twice while explaining how everything changed for her the night Exantus entered her family’s home.
“…my brother is gone,” she said, “but according to your defense team you don’t remember anything about that night. Do you? Nope. And you could care less, couldn’t you?” She said she still needs help comprehending the jury’s verdict.
“Throughout this whole thing,” said Heather Tipton looking at Exantus, “you ought to have been made to look at my children and my daughter and the videos … You should have been made to watch what you did.
“You have rocked this whole community, this whole town.”
Prior to sentencing, Judge Phil Patton denied a defense motion and ruled there was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict Exantus of two counts of second-degree assault and one count of fourth-degree assault.
“The finding of guilty, but mentally ill on those counts is supported by sufficient evidence,” Patton said. He denied the defense motion to amend the judgment and find Exantus not guilty by reason of insanity on the assault charges and later sentenced the 34-year-old Indiana man to 20 years in prison.