Shook associates Bailey Duke and Mitch Engel achieved a positive result for their client after a three-year long pro bono case ended with the state of Missouri accepting their Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity (NGRI) plea on behalf of their client on December 7. The young man, who was charged with Second Degree Homicide and Armed Criminal Action, was declared incapable of understanding his actions during the incident after comprehensive psychological exams conducted during this Shook pro bono case.
The Shook attorneys entered a NGRI plea after a medical professional diagnosed the client with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. They argued the young man could not have understood the wrongful impact of his conduct at the time of the incident and therefore shouldn’t be held criminally responsible. After an original objection and examination by its own experts who came to the same medical conclusion, the state of Missouri and the judge accepted the plea.
It is extremely rare to secure a win through a NGRI plea, not just in Missouri but across the country. Less than one percent of criminal cases end in a NGRI plea and the defendant receiving comprehensive medical care. The young man will now be admitted to a treatment facility to manage his mental illness instead of serving a prison sentence.