Stephen Morgan, the man accused of murdering Johanna Justin-Jinich ’10 in Red & Black Café on May 2009 was found not guilty of murder by reason of mental disease or defect by a panel of three judges.  The judges made the ruling on Friday afternoon in Superior Court in Middletown at the conclusion of the eight-day trial. Morgan was also found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect for the other charges against him, which included intimidation due to racial bigotry or bias and possession of a pistol without a permit. He will now be sent to the Whiting Forensic Institute in Middletown for a 60 day mental evaluation by the state, after which the panel of judges will decide how long he should be committed at a hearing set for Feb. 29.

  • Goethe1

    OMG This is SO WRONG!!!!!!
    WHY IS HE FREE????

    • Morgansf2010

      There is no justice in the American judicial system to think a cold blooded murderer like Stephen Morgan could possibly be set free after 60 days is appalling. Put your feet in the shoes of Joanna’s family they lost their loving daughter to a violent premeditated crime. What must be going through the Justin-Jinich family
      minds at this time must be is horrifying.

  • Anonymous

    He’s not free. As the article in the Courant says, “He could be committed for up to 75 years.” Obviously what he did is horrendous and unforgivable, but ideally he will still serve a sentence, just in an alternate type of facility.

    • Abc

      Or he could spend a few months there and be free.

      • Abc

        “The average term of commitment to the PSRB is 42.6 years, consistent with the types of serious crimes these insanity acquittees have committed. But the average stay for a PSRB patient starting his commitment in the WMSS is 6.1 years before transfer to the DESS, with a lesser security level. These patients are seldom discharged directly from the WMSS.”

  • Goethe1

    To me, or TO JOHANNA’S family an alternate type of facility is not good enough. He knew what he was doing, it was so clearly planned, and by pretending he is all crazy, he can walk free!!!!

  • ripjohanna

    this is absolutely ridiculous! that man knew what he was doing, he planned it out, he’d harrassed her before and then came and shot her! I’m so far beyond upset with this verdict. he should not have the chance to walk free at all! it should be an automatic sentence even if it is in an alternate facility.

  • Matt072081

    Who are the judges that allowed this and are not only letting a killer lose but wasting again thousands of our dollars and one life in vain. Should be disgraced with themselves.

  • Wes

    The crime was per-meditated and he also lied in wait for his victim.

    That carries a special circumstances provision for the death penalty in California.