(INDIANAPOLIS) - The verdict in a high profile Steuben County case has been reversed by the Indiana Court of Appeals. In a 20 page ruling that was posted on the court's web site Monday, the three judge panel felt the Steuben Circuit Court jury "clearly erred" in rejecting an insanity defense almost a year ago in the case of 35-year-old Donald William Myers III. He was charged after he was accused of shooting at several vehicles on U.S. 20 near Silver Lake in April of 2004.
The case did not go to trial for nine years as Myers was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and deemed mentally incompetent to stand trial. The State Court of Appeals felt there was "no admissible evidence of probative value that even inferred sanity at the time of the crimes." In addition, the state justices felt the trial court abused its discretion in admitting evidence by prosecutors of Myers's post-arrest silence and request for counsel to prove the defendant's sanity.
Myers was found guilty but mentally ill on four Class A felony counts of attempted murder and sentenced to 120 years in prison. During his sentencing hearing on April 29th of last year, Myers denied shooting at anybody. He added he had spent nine years locked up and he just wanted to go home. In handing down the sentence, Circuit Court Judge Allen Wheat said at the time that he would recommend to the Indiana Department of Corrections that Myers be transferred to the Department of Mental Health.