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Expert witness findings tossed, judge leaves door for insanity plea in attempted homicide case

October 11, 2019 News Extra

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Gary Ellenberger, 56, is charged with attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, reckless endangerment and harassment, according to records kept by the Butler County Prison.

Agreeing with prosecutors, a Butler judge has rejected the findings of a defense expert who found a Chicora man suffered from “unspecified” mental disorders when he allegedly attempted to kill a bar patron last year.

Common Pleas Judge Timothy McCune decided earlier this week to side with prosecutors that 57-year-old Gary Ellenberger's defense expert, Pittsburgh-based psychiatrist Bruce Wright, shouldn't be used in Ellenberger's future trial. But McCune also left the door open for Ellenberger and his public defender Charles Nedz to continue to pursue an insanity defense.

This is an excerpt from an article that will appear in Sunday's Butler Eagle. Subscribe online or print to read the full article in Sunday's Butler Eagle.

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