Mental illness entered as part of Dunlap’s murder defense
by Franklin Clark, Reporter --
Oct 14, 2009 | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Public defender James Gibson, the lead attorney for Roaring Springs triple murder suspect Kevin Dunlap, is claiming mental illness as part of Dunlap’s defense, it was announced last week.

Gibson filed the notice last week in Livingston County Circuit Court, and though the notice doesn’t specify what type of mental illness Dunlap suffers from, it does indicate that Gibson will introduce expert testimony relating to a mental illness or other mental condition that would bear on the issues of Dunlap’s guilt or innocence.

A pre-trial conference had been scheduled for last Friday, but it was delayed until Friday, Nov. 13, although Gibson and his staff still had until last Friday to claim mental illness as part of the defense.

Trigg County Circuit Court Judge C.A. “Woody” Woodall will preside over the pre-trial conference, as well as the trial itself, which was delayed to Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010.

Dunlap, 36, of Hopkinsville, was charged in November last year with the Wednesday, Oct. 15, murder of Kayla Elayne Williams, 17, Kortney Lan McBurney-Frensley, 14, and Ethan Zane Frensley, 5, and the rape and attempted murder of their mother, Kristy Frensley, as well as kidnapping, burglary and tampering with evidence.

According to police, Dunlap not only murdered the three children but raped and tried to kill the mother, left her for dead and then set the house on fire in order to destroy evidence and cover up his actions.

Commonwealth Attoryey G.L. Ovey has said he is seeking the death penalty in this case.

Hearings in the case have been held at the Livingston County Judicial Center in Smithland. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Carrie Ovey-Wiggins had earlier said that a change of venue was sought because of all of the pre-trial publicity, which she said could possibly be grounds for an appeal if Dunlap is convicted.
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