Judge rejects mental illness plea in 2010 shootingJudge Karen Asphaug rejected the defense that Jonas Grice was mentally ill when he shot Anthony Hartman in a Rosemount car wash in July 2010. Asphaug handed down the ruling earlier today.
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Judge Karen Asphaug rejected the defense that Jonas Grice was mentally ill when he shot Anthony Hartman in a Rosemount car wash in July 2010. Asphaug handed down the ruling earlier today.
That means the 28-year-old faces up to 40 years in prison for the murder.
Grice pleaded guilty to second degree murder in early October for the July 12, 2010 incident, but he maintained his right to a mental illness defense.
Grice has a history of mental illness including a civil commitment in 2007. During the two-week trial Grice’s defense argued that at the time of the shooting Grice was suffering from mental illness and did not know the nature of his actions or that they were wrong.
Asphaug’s decision came after a two week trial in which witnesses testified about Grice’s mental stability. Witnesses included Hartman’s friend Bradley Dotseth, who was there during the incident; doctors who have treated Grice; and Grice’s parents.
A two-day sentencing hearing will be held in early January.
Had Asphaug ruled the other way, Grice would have been detained in a state hospital.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom called the incident “a shocking crime which senselessly took the life of a young man with a bright future.
“The defendant had a history of mental illness and violence in his past and should never have been carrying a weapon.”
Grice shot Hartman three times — twice in the abdomen and once in the back of the head at the Car Spa Car Wash on July 12, 2010 after a brief altercation. Hartman died as a result of the shot to the head.
Grice fled the scene after the shooting. He surrendered two days later at the urging of his parents.
In addition to his history of mental illness Grice has a history of violent behavior. In 2003 he was convicted of fifth degree criminal assault. In 2005 he was convicted of criminal sexual conduct.