Highway shooting suspect switches to insanity defense

The man charged in a series of highway shootings in the Columbus area is changing his plea to not guilty by reason of insanity.

Twenty-nine-year-old Charles A- McCoy Junior originally had pleaded not guilty to a 24-count indictment including the fatal shooting of a 62-year-old woman in November.

Gail Knisley of Washington Court House was the only person hit in the attacks, which occurred mostly on or around Interstate 270 in Columbus.

McCoy’s lawyer Mark Collins says they are not conceding that McCoy was the shooter. He says prosecutors must prove it, and if they do, the defense team would argue McCoy was not able to determine right from wrong.

The change in plea comes a day after Judge Charles Schneider ruled McCoy — who is on medication for schizophrenia — is competent to stand trial.

In a statement, Franklin County prosecutors say they are not surprised by the insanity plea given that investigators found McCoy had the murder weapon and he fled to Las Vegas after being named as a suspect.