Stephen Morgan, the man accused of fatally shooting Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10 nearly a year ago, kept silent as he entered the courtroom on Friday. Flanked by two police officers, the handcuffed Morgan faced the floor as his lawyers confirmed the completion of mental health evaluations of the suspect, which they argue will be sufficient to mount an insanity defense.
The case was continued to May 25 to allow prosecutors time to review the mental health reports compiled by the defense. State prosecutors may seek to conduct their own evaluations of Morgan before his next appearance in court.
Morgan’s lawyers said that two physicians had completed their mental evaluations of the defendant. According to court documents filed Thursday, the physicians, Yale University Professor of Psychiatry and President of the medical staff at Connecticut Medical Health Center Dr. Howard V. Zonana and Yale Associate Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Madelon V. Baranoski will testify about Morgan’s “mental disease or defect” when he stands trial for Johanna’s murder.
As Morgan was led out of the courtroom after the short but chilling pre-trial, observers present caught a glimpse of the suspect’s face as he briefly looked back, presumably at his family, who was seated in the gallery.