Police: Man says hidden message told him to kill - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Police: Man says hidden message told him to kill

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Parents of slain USC student urge security boost

    Parents of slain USC student urge security boost

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:47:30 GMT
    Four teens were charged Tuesday with murder in the fatal beating of a University of Southern California graduate student with a baseball bat and wrench as he walked to his off-campus apartment after meeting with a...More >>
    The parents of a University of Southern California graduate student who was beaten to death on his walk home say they are concerned about other students and hope the university increases security.More >>
  • Broken water main floods UCLA; people rescued

    Broken water main floods UCLA; people rescued

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:47:22 GMT
    A broken water main near the UCLA campus Tuesday sent a geyser of water some 30 feet into the air, forced the rescue of people trapped in underground parking garages and covered some of the best-known parts of...More >>
    A broken water main near the UCLA campus Tuesday sent a geyser of water some 30 feet into the air, forced the rescue of people trapped in underground parking garages and covered some of the best-known parts of campus in...More >>
  • Man wrongly imprisoned seeks millions from state

    Man wrongly imprisoned seeks millions from state

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 10:15 PM EDT2014-07-30 02:15:45 GMT
    A man who was imprisoned 21 years for a rape and murder he didn't commit is set to testify at a first-ever Connecticut hearing to determine how much he should be compensated.More >>
    A man cleared of murder and rape charges after being locked up for two decades made an emotional appeal for millions of dollars in compensation on Tuesday, telling the state claims commissioner about the fear he endured in...More >>
By BRUCE SCHREINER
Associated Press

SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) - A man accused of gunning down a prominent Kentucky defense attorney told police he had deciphered messages from a newspaper and music instructing him to carry out the killing outside the lawyer's office, a police detective testified Wednesday.

Clinton Inabnitt, charged with murder in last month's slaying of Mark Stanziano, told police he believed that if he carried out the killing, the ringing in his ears would stop, Somerset Police Detective Chris Gates said at a court hearing.

"He was told through the newspaper voices and he was told that the ringing in his ears would go away if he did this," Gates testified.

A judge sent the case to a grand jury after hearing testimony from Gates and a sheriff's detective who witnessed the shooting that rocked the south-central Kentucky town of 11,000 situated a few miles from the banks of Lake Cumberland, a popular tourist haven.

Soon after the slaying, Inabnitt vaguely told his police questioners that he was following orders from "these people," Gates said.

Police found out during about 45 minutes of questioning that Inabnitt warned Stanziano the day before the shooting that there were people who wanted him killed, and they wanted Inabnitt to carry out the slaying, Gates said. Inabnitt told police that Stanziano laughed off the warning.

"Later that evening ... he stated that he had deciphered a message in the paper that this was something that he had to do," said Gates, who participated in the questioning. "He made it very clear to us that he said this is something I don't want to do but it's something that I had to do."

Inabnitt, 40, also said he had received messages through music to target Stanziano, Gates said. The detective didn't mention any songs. Police later executed a search warrant at Inabnitt's residence and seized a box of ammo, a newspaper, iPhone and laptop computer, Gates testified.

When Inabnitt's pockets were emptied by police, they found about 10 bullets, he said.

Inabnitt purchased the handgun about a year before the shooting, the officer said.

Police also have reviewed surveillance video from a business that has aided the investigation, Gates said.

Inabnitt, clad in an orange jail jumpsuit, sat quietly during the testimony.

His attorney, Richard Leary, argued that the charge should be reduced to manslaughter.

Afterward, Leary told reporters that Inabnitt's comments to police "tend to lend credence to the fact that he might have been not in his complete right mind when this happened, and we're going to get into that."

"That's a mountain that has to be climbed to see what the mental state was here of my client during the alleged commission of this crime," he said.

Stanziano was shot repeatedly as he arrived at his law office. Inabnitt's apartment is across the street from the law office, and police have said the two were well acquainted. Convenience store clerks said Stanziano sometimes paid for Inabnitt at the store.

Stanziano, 57, was known for taking high-profile cases. Before he died, he was representing Kenneth Allen Keith, a pastor charged with the murder of three people last year. He also represented a man charged with killing a former sheriff in a plot at a political rally in 2002.

Pulaski County sheriff's Detective John Hutchinson, a witness to Stanziano's shooting, on Wednesday described the harrowing moments when the rapid-fire shots rang out in downtown Somerset.

He said he was crossing a street when he heard what sounded like a vehicle backfiring but dreaded that it was a gunshot.

"I looked to my left and saw Mr. Inabnitt shooting Mr. Stanziano," Hutchinson testified.

Hutchinson said he ran toward the shooter, took cover behind a gas pump at a convenience store, told customers to get back inside and called 911. He then ordered Inabnitt to drop his weapon, he said.

"At one point he turned toward me, I guess it was to see who it was," Hutchinson said. "On the second command, he dropped his weapon."

Hutchinson then handcuffed the suspect.

Hutchinson said he didn't recall if Inabnitt said anything to him. He said he didn't know how long it took police backup to arrive.

"It seemed like an eternity," he said.

One witness remembered hearing Inabnitt scream "Hey" at Stanziano before the lawyer was gunned down.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Powered by WorldNow
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
OKLAHOMA CITY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Oklahoma City's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.