MIDDLETOWN ——A prosecutor said Monday he has not yet received a completed mental health report on the man accused of killing a Wesleyan University student two years ago.
The state's evaluations of Stephen Morgan were delayed after the state's first mental health expert, hired in August 2010, became ill and was unable to complete them. Superior Court Judge Susan Handy in June continued Morgan's case until Tuesday, saying she was "anxious" to move the case to disposition or trial. But she added she wanted the report to be thorough and not rushed.
Morgan, 31, of Massachusetts, has pleaded not guilty to killing Wesleyan junior Johanna Justin-Jinich, 21, of Timnath, Colo., inside a bookstore cafe near campus in May 2009. Morgan's lawyers say he was mentally ill at the time. They said two physicians hired by the defense who evaluated Morgan will testify during the trial about his mental disease or defect at the time of the slaying.
Richard R. Brown, Morgan's attorney, has said he expects the state's expert will reach the same conclusions the defense experts reached about Morgan's mental health at the time of the slaying.
The shooting, at the Red & Black Cafe inside Broad Street Books prompted a nearly two-day campus lockdown and search for Morgan. He eventually turned himself in the night after the shooting.
According to New York City police, Morgan had threatened Justin-Jinich in 2007 when they attended a New York University summer program. Police said a journal they believe belonged to Morgan contains writings about a killing spree targeting Jewish people and "beautiful and smart" Wesleyan students, according to court records. Justin-Jinich came from a Jewish family, and her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.
Morgan is charged with murder, intimidation based on bigotry or bias, and carrying a pistol without a permit. He is at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown.
Morgan's lawyers said they expect to go to trial in the fall. They have not decided whether a jury or three-judge panel will hear the case.