The mentally ill man who admitted to shooting at vehicles and buildings in a series of incidents that killed one woman and terrorized central Ohio has agreed to drop his insanity defense and plead guilty, a judge said Monday.
Charles McCoy Jr.'s plea would avoid a second trial. Jurors could not decide earlier this year whether McCoy was legally insane during the incidents, which happened over five months in 2003 and 2004. Gail Knisley, 62, the only person known to have been hit by the gunshots, was fatally wounded.
Barring a last-minute change of heart by McCoy or prosecutors, McCoy will enter the plea Tuesday afternoon, Judge Charles Schneider said after meeting with McCoy's attorney.
With the plea, McCoy, 29, faces decades in prison. Schneider said he will recommend that McCoy be ordered to serve his sentence in a prison mental health wing so he can be treated for his paranoid schizophrenia.
Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien refused to confirm a deal had been reached but said an agreement would be discussed Tuesday. Messages seeking comment were left with McCoy's attorneys, who have said they would not confirm anything before O'Brien did.
A mistrial was declared in May after a jury deliberated four days and took three votes on whether McCoy was legally insane, meaning he did not understand right from wrong.
The defense had acknowledged that McCoy was the shooter but argued that he was innocent by reason of insanity. Prosecutors say that despite his mental illness, McCoy knew right from wrong.