Judge Finds Man Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity In Father’s Stabbing Death

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Judge Finds Man Not Guilty By Reason Of Insanity In Father’s Stabbing Death

By Tiffany Johnson. CREATED Aug 5, 2014 - UPDATED: Aug 5, 2014

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – A Williamson County judge found a man not guilty by reason of insanity in the stabbing death of his father. 

During a bench trial Tuesday morning, Judge Timothy Easter found Daniel Cantrell not guilty of first degree criminal homicide in the death of 65-year-old Oliver Cantrell.

Police said Cantrell's wife called 911 after finding Oliver Cantrell bleeding at his home on Heathrow Hills Drive in Brentwood on the night of April 2. He had suffered at least one stab wound and died from his injuries.

Cantrell was also at the home and taken into custody.

The 31-year-old waived his right to a jury trial as well as his right to testify Tuesday morning.

"Mr. Cantrell's attorneys, and the state, basically stipulated and agreed to the facts of the case," said District Attorney General Kim Helper.

The judge found he met the criteria for an insanity defense when he committed murder as he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

"This manifested itself that day, with him becoming extremely paranoid, and schizophrenic, and being convinced, unfortunately, that his father was trying to harm him in some way. Which of course was not true," explained Catrell's attorney David Raybin.

Raybin said Cantrell thought he and his father were robots the day of Oliver Cantrell's murder.

The Cantrell family was in the court as the judge committed Daniel to a mental institution for treatment.

"The family, is a really close family, they're wonderful people, they feel very strongly in their son, and also Mr. Oliver Cantrell, that this is a horrible family tragedy," Raybin said.

He was found competent to stand trial as he was being treated with medications.

After the verdict, the judge ordered Cantrell to be committed to the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute as he was said to likely injure himself or others if he is not treated in the forensic services unit. Once doctors notice he is better, another hearing would be held to determine the next steps in the case.

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