The Journal Gazette
Friday, February 07, 2020 1:00 am

Man found guilty but mentally ill

Attack of 2 women may net 60 years


There was no dispute about what happened April 25, 2018. 

Raymond O. Demby broke into a home at 4601 Spatz Ave., attacked two women – his ex-girlfriend and her 18-year-old daughter – with a hammer and shot them before driving away in a stolen Pontiac Aztec. 

Neither prosecutors nor defense attorney James Hanson challenged those facts, but they stayed far apart Thursday on the circumstances surrounding the events. 

“From the beginning, the defendant has tried to manipulate,” Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Tasha Lee told jurors on the last day of Demby's trial. “He has tried to not be responsible. It is so far beyond a reasonable doubt that this man is responsible for these crimes.”

Hanson disagreed, arguing his client is mentally ill, needs help and could not tell right from wrong at the time of the attack.

“Raymond Demby is a damaged, unhealthy individual,” he said. “He's a suffering individual as well.”

Demby, 53, was charged with several felonies in the attack, including attempted murder, aggravated battery, burglary with serious bodily injury and battery with a deadly weapon. He relied on an insanity defense throughout the three-day trial that ended Thursday, and jurors sided with prosecutors.

They found Demby guilty but mentally ill of attempted murder, burglary with serious bodily injury, aggravated battery, battery with a deadly weapon, domestic battery with a deadly weapon, invasion of privacy, auto theft and resisting law enforcement. Jurors also found him guilty of using a gun, and Demby faces up to 60 years in prison when he is sentenced March 6.

Indiana law allows jurors in cases with an insanity defense options for verdicts. Guilty but mentally ill means he will be sentenced like any other defendant, but a judge can order a mental health evaluation, and Demby will be treated in prison. 

Jurors also could have considered finding him not responsible by reason of insanity. In that case, a commitment hearing would have been scheduled, and Demby likely would have been sent to a state hospital.   

Courtney Madison and her daughter Kiara Jones were on the couch about 4 a.m., when Demby smashed the glass of a back door and entered the home. He struck both women with the hammer, according to court documents and witness testimony.

Madison was shot at least twice, and Jones was shot “in the legs,” a probable cause affidavit said. Allen County Deputy Prosecutor Brent Ecenbarger said Madison would have died from her wounds if she hadn't quickly received medical attention. 

A reason for the assault is unclear, but Hanson said Madison had broken up with Demby after dating for about a year. 

Questions about Demby's mental state arose shortly after he was formally charged in May 2018. His lawyer at the time, William Lebrato, filed a notice of defense of mental disease or defect in June 2018 and said in a hearing that month Demby was aggressive and unable to assist in his defense. 

Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull ruled Demby competent last year, after three doctors – two psychologists and a psychiatrist who also testified Thursday – examined him. 

Psychologists Stephen Ross and David Lombard interviewed Demby and used standardized tests to determine his sanity at the time the crimes occurred. Each testified Demby likely had mental health problems but knew what he was doing that morning. 

“He did not appear to be psychotic,” Ross said. 

Ross and Lombard both said Demby exaggerated his problems. Hanson said his client has problems reading, and that might have affected answers to written questions.

Psychiatrist Rebecca Mueller said Demby was “in a manic state” that prevented him from understanding his actions.

Lee and Ecenbarger countered, saying Mueller didn't spend as much time with Demby and interviewed him for only 90 minutes.

“There's absolutely no question in this case as to who's responsible for all these events,” Ecenbarger said. 

Jurors deliberated for more than two hours, and when the jury's verdict was read, Demby showed little reaction. No family members appeared to be present; his side of the courtroom was empty, except for Officer Mitchell Gearhart, who got up to briefly testify for the defense. Homicide Detective Roy Sutphin also took the stand.

Before the jury left the courtroom to deliberate on the two sentence enhancements, Hanson asked for mercy, saying that the night Demby committed the heinous acts “he blacked out and doesn't recall any of the events.”

Attempted murder and burglary, the most serious charges, are each punishable by up to 40 years in prison. Other charges range from six months to 16 years behind bars. 

Lee was unequivocal. “Justice was done,” she said. 

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