MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Burnsville man has been found guilty of murder, after a judge rejected the idea that he was mentally ill at the time of the fatal shooting.
Jonas Gerald Grice, 28, previously pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder in connection with the shooting death of Anthony Hartman, 22, of Apple Valley.
The shooting occurred on Monday, July 12, 2010 at a car wash in Rosemount.
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Grice later argued that he was suffering from a mental illness and didn’t know the nature of his actions or that they were wrong.
Dakota County District Court Judge Karen Asphaug rejected Grice’s defense of mental illness on Wednesday.
Attorney Bob Oleisky said it’s hard to prove a defendant’s mental state at the time of the crime.
“We don’t know how an individual is reacting at the time of the incident. We can’t take a snapshot, if you will, and say ‘yes, he’s mentally ill and not criminally responsible right at the time it happened,’” he said.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom expressed his sympathy to the family of Hartman.
“This was a shocking crime which senselessly took a life of a young man with a bright future,” he said. “The defendant had a history of mental illness and violence in his past and should never have been carrying a weapon.”
Grice’s sentencing hearing will be on Jan. 4, 2012. Instead of commitment to a mental hospital, Grice faces up to 40 years in prison.