Insanity plea by Krause
In an expected move Monday, murder suspect Scott Krause pleaded both innocent and “not guilty by reason of insanity” to allegations of carjacking a box truck on Jan. 6 and ramming it into a UPS van in the Brunswick Basin, killing driver Drew Reynolds.
The plea has set a rough timeline for the criminal case, putting a potential trial about five to six months down the road, county District Attorney Michael Ferguson said.
Krause spoke in court publicly for the first time Monday, when Judge Albert P. Dover asked him if he voluntarily chose the insanity plea.
“Yes, your honor,” Krause replied.
He will next be in court on Aug. 2, when his public defender, Gary Gordon, and Ferguson will select two psychiatrists to evaluate Krause’s mental condition on the evening of his alleged crimes.
The two doctors will probably take about three or four months to evaluate Krause’s criminal and medical history, interview him personally and read reports issued by two psychologists during the murder suspect’s competency assessment.
Aside from murder and carjacking, Krause is charged with burglary and battery for alleged crimes that led up to and followed the crash, and he faces several probation violation charges from previous misdemeanor cases.
During his competency hearing in April, psychologists testified that Krause told them he was fleeing imagined monsters when the fatal crash occurred. They also said Krause was using methamphetamine regularly before the crash and was exhibiting signs of delusion and a thought disorder.
Judge John Darlington ruled that Krause was mentally competent to stand trial and that at least some of his delusional symptoms were probably made up.
By law, Ferguson said, he has to choose a different doctor this time around to evaluate Krause, although Gordon does not.
After the doctors finish their reports and present them to the court, several pretrial conferences will be held, followed by the “guilt” phase of trial – a traditional trial to decide whether the defendant committed the crime.
If Gordon and Krause were only to plea insanity – and not the standard “innocent” – the guilt phase would be skipped and the trial would move directly to the sanity phase.
During the sanity phase, the burden of proof would be on the defense to prove that Krause, more likely than not, was insane at the time of the crime. This phase is meant to answer two questions: Did Krause know what he was doing, and did he know it was wrong.
The district attorney said earlier that he will not seek the death penalty in the case because Krause’s criminal history does not merit it.
On Aug. 2, the district attorney and Scott Krause’s public defender will select two psychiatrists to evaluate the murder suspect’s mental state at the time of the Jan. 6 fatal crash. They will most likely be given several months to complete their reports.
A trial could come about two months after the reports are presented in court.
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