Deep River man plans murder defense based on mental disease

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) — A Deep River man charged with killing his mother told a judge that he’s planning a defense based on mental disease or defect at the time of the slaying.

The Hartford Courant report Robert Rankin waived his right to a jury trial during a brief hearing Tuesday in Superior Court. Rankin agreed to have his case heard by a three-judge panel next month.

Rankin recently underwent psychiatric evaluations by a mental health professional hired by his attorney. His reports were submitted to the court and were the basis for the 24-year-old’s not guilty plea based on mental disease or defect.

Police say Rankin admitted to killing his mother, 45-year-old Margaret Rohner, at the home they shared in December 2013.

Rankin’s trial is scheduled to begin June 3.

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Information from: Hartford Courant, http://www.courant.com

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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