Jury in McCoy Case Begins Deliberations

A Franklin County jury today is deliberating the fate of accused “Highway Sniper” Charles McCoy. McCoy is charged with a twelve shootings on or near interstate highways and faces a possible death sentence.

Charles McCoy has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the series of shootings in late 2003 and early 2004, including the fatal shooting of Gail Knisley as she rode in a car on the south outerbelt. In his closing argument, defense lawyer Michael Miller told the jury “he caused the terror, “he caused the heartbreak,” but Miller asked the panel to spare McCoy’s life.

Miller repeatedly stressed that his client suffers from an incurable devastating mental illness that kept him from knowing right from wrong at the time of the shootings.

Earlier, Assistant Prosecutor Doug Stead told jurors the defense “failed miserably” in its effort to prove legal insanity. Using a blackboard and chalk at times, Stead guided jurors through prosecution testimony that he says shows McCoy acted purposefully and knowingly when he shot up highways, houses and school buildings.

Stead asked the jury how one can argue in any way, shape, or form that you don’t know you’re putting someone at risk.

Stead told the panel McCoy picked and chose his shootings spots because he knew what he was doing was wrong. After giving instructions to the jury, Judge Charles Schneider ordered them sequestered until they reach a verdict.