Courthouse plaza shooter enters insanity plea
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 4:56 AM
An insanity defense will be presented for a Tulsa man who is scheduled to go to trial Oct. 7 in connection with the shooting of a sheriff's deputy outside the Tulsa County Courthouse.
Defense attorney Allen Smallwood entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity on behalf of Andrew "Joe" Dennehy at an appearance Wednesday before District Judge James Caputo, who selected the fall trial date.
Dennehy, 24, faces trial on two counts of shooting with an intent to kill and single counts each of possessing a firearm after being adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court and reckless conduct with a firearm.
Deputy David Fortenberry was shot in the hands March 7 after he and two other sheriff's deputies, Dennis Miller and Stephen Culley, responded to a report that shots were being fired on the plaza outside the courthouse, at 500 S. Denver Ave.
Dennehy, who had a handgun, did not comply with orders to put it down but turned and fired. After Fortenberry yelled that he was hit, Miller and Culley shot at Dennehy, who was wounded, previous testimony indicated.
Smallwood got a court order Wednesday directing the Tulsa County Commission and Sheriff's Office to allow a forensic electronic and digital expert, or experts, retained by the defense to examine and evaluate a surveillance recording of the events on the courthouse plaza.
At an August trial on the matter of Dennehy's mental competency, a jury was instructed to determine whether he was "incompetent to undergo further criminal proceedings at this time." The jury unanimously voted no on that question, clearing the way for the prosecution of Dennehy to move forward.
Competency and insanity are separate issues. The test for insanity involves whether a defendant could distinguish right from wrong and appreciate the consequences of his actions at the time of an alleged offense.
Assistant District Attorney Jack Thorp has said previously that he thought an insanity defense would be presented for Dennehy.
Testimony was presented at the competency trial that Dennehy spoke of supposed conspiracies involving Freemasons and the Illuminati.
According to a report by a psychologist retained by the defense, Dennehy has said "the Freemasons and Illuminati were conspiring to harm or kill himself and his parents" and that in response, "he attempted to have himself killed by the police so that the Illuminati and Freemasons would leave his parents alone."
In a separate case, Dennehy faces trial on counts of attempted escape and assault and battery on a sheriff's deputy linked to events March 16 at a hospital where he was treated after he was shot.
That case will trail the shooting case on the court docket. Dennehy remains in the Tulsa Jail.
Original Print Headline: Shooting suspect pleads insane
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Andrew "Joe" Dennehy: The Tulsan was arrested after he fired shots on the Tulsa County Courthouse plaza March 7, authorities say. A psychologist testified that Dennehy claimed that "the Freemasons and Illuminati were conspiring to harm or kill himself and his parents" and, "he attempted to have himself killed by the police" so that they "would leave his parents alone."