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DA won't contest insanity plea in surgeon's killing

By: JOHN C. ENSSLIN
July 14, 2009
0

The experts agree — Sean Alden Fitzgerald was insane when he stabbed his father to death in front of his mother in their Colorado Springs home early in the morning of Nov. 20.

During a brief hearing today in 4th Judicial District Court, prosecutors said their expert agreed with an evaluation done on the 37-year-old man by doctors at the Colorado State Hospital in Pueblo.

As a result, the District Attorney’s Office will offer no evidence to the contrary during a one-day non-jury trial on Sept. 17 on the issue of whether Fitzgerald is not guilty by reason of insanity.

“We’re not going to offer anything against that.” Deputy District Attorney Brien Cecil told Judge David A. Gilbert.
 Cecil said that defense attorney Edward Farry has agreed that the Fitzgerald will acknowledge that he was the one who fatally stabbed his father Edward Fitzgerald, 63, a prominent orthopedic surgeon.

Colorado Springs police were called to the family’s home by Fitzgerald’s mother Kim who said her son had stabbed her husband while the couple were asleep in their bed.

According to an arrest warrant, Sean Fitzgerald told a detective that “I did it. I killed my own father in front of my mother.”

The killing occurred a few weeks after the defendant had suffered a head injury when he was hit by a truck while bicycling in Thailand.

The day before the slaying, his parents took Fitzgerald to a neurosurgeon, reporting that their son had expressed suicidal and paranoid thoughts.

During today’s hearing, Fitzgerald waived his right to a jury trial. Instead, Judge David A. Gilbert will listen to the experts and decide the case himself.

When the judge asked if he fully understood his decision, Fitzgerald replied “yes,” adding that he was not under the influence of any drugs or medication.

Gilbert also granted permission for Fitzgerald to be dressed in civilian clothing during the trial, rather than the orange El Paso County jail jumpsuit he wore to court today.

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