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Teen May Try To Plead Insanity In Iowa Murders

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Michael Richard Swanson (credit: Kossuth County Sheriff's Office)

Michael Richard Swanson (credit: Kossuth County Sheriff’s Office)

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By Adam Thomas, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — A legal expert believes a Minnesota teenager who’s accused of two murders in Iowa will try to make a case for insanity and diminished capacity.

Vicky Bowman-Hall, a mother of 11 children, was shot at a gas station in Algona on Monday night and died at a hospital. Sheila Myers was shot and killed about an hour later at a store in Humboldt.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Richard Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is charged in their deaths.

Tom Shroyer, President and CEO of Minneapolis-based Moss & Barnett, believes Swanson’s defense will be centered on a claim of insanity and diminished capacity.

“In an effort to show that either he was totally deluded at the time of these acts or that he was utterly incapable of distinguishing right from wrong,” Shroyer told John Hines on the WCCO Morning News.

Shroyer, who is not involved in the case, said the terms of Swanson’s recent conviction in another case in Hennepin County began to address these issues.

“That would have entailed some investigation into his background, his home life, his intelligence and his psychology,” Shroyer said.

Shroyer believes the earliest Swanson could stand trial is next summer.

In a statement through their attorney, Swanson’s parents, Robert and Kathleen Swanson, said they had sought help for their son and are now struggling to make sense of his actions.

“We express our deepest and profound sympathies and condolences to the families, extended families, friends and communities that have been affected directly or indirectly by the horrific tragedy,” said the statement.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

John Hines Interviews Tom Shroyer

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