A state psychiatric hospital previously found that Kinyua, 22, was not criminally responsible for his actions in a separate assault case because he was suffering from severe psychosis.
In the assault case, Kinyua has already been committed indefinitely, and a team of doctors and an administrative law judge would have to agree to his release. If the judge in the murder case accepts a finding that Kinyua is not criminally responsible, he would not face a prison sentence.
The statement by Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly clears the way for the court to be presented the hospital's findings.
Kinyua faces first-degree murder and a weapons charge in Harford after he allegedly told police that he had killed and
In December, Kinyua pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible in the Morgan attack. At that time, Cassilly said he would push forward with the murder case and attempt to prove that Kinyua was in control of his actions at the time of Agyei-Kodie's death.
Cassilly said he's seen psychiatric reports from Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in both the assault and murder cases and has had an independent expert review Kinyua's mental state. He said Wednesday that "we have basically the same diagnosis" as the first report.
"To dispute the Perkins findings, I need some sort of evidence," he said. "I don't have any opinion that would dispute their findings."
Kinyua's attorney, Donald Daneman, will have no comment, according to a person who answered the phone at his office.
At Kinyua's hearing in the city case, a judge described how his mind slowly but steadily deteriorated — he was suffering from paranoid
"The evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Kinyua was suffering from a
Julie A. Drake, a former city prosecutor who is now a professor at the
"Normally, the state accepts whatever the court medical services recommends," Drake said.
She said in those cases, the defendant will enter a guilty plea and the state will read into the record the opinion of the
"If at any point he's medicated sufficiently or reaches a stage where the facility believes he is no longer a danger to himself or others, he's released, but it's a conditional release," Drake said. "That's a little bit like probation, and the defendant is required to take his medication, check in for counseling."
If a defendant doesn't comply, the hospital can request a warrant, she said.
"I have examples of horrific cases where people committed horrific crimes, but once medicated they were perfectly fine and safe to be in society," Drake said. "I think it's absolutely appropriate for mental health professionals to be the ones taking responsibility for those decisions."