TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio judge has sentenced a man to life in prison without parole after rejecting his insanity defense in the shooting deaths of two of his girlfriend's three young sons and the wounding of the third.
Kevin Moore, 29, was sentenced Thursday to concurrent life terms on two aggravated murder counts in the February 2021 deaths of 14-month-old Gabriel Phillips and 5-year-old Ahmir Phillips, The Toledo Blade reported. He was also sentenced to a concurrent 10 to 15 years for attempted aggravated murder and nine years on weapons counts. A felonious assault charge was merged with the attempted murder charge for sentencing purposes.
Before convicting the defendant on all counts, Judge Eric Allen Marks ruled that the defense had failed to meet the burden of proof required under state law for the insanity defense. A week earlier, he had heard assessments from two psychologists on Moore's state of mind at the time Toledo shootings.
One psychologist cited the strictness of the Ohio law on the use of the insanity defense that requires substantial evidence of inability to tell right from wrong. He and another psychologist said that despite Moore’s severe schizophrenic mental illness, he had demonstrated an understanding of having been in the wrong. A third psychiatrist said Moore's ramblings and actions were consistent with a schizophrenia patient not taking appropriate medication.
Marks told the defendant that it was clear to the court "that at some level, you understood the wrongfulness of your actions. ... The horrific nature of it I’m sure plagues you as it plagues everyone associated with this investigation.”
The judge also said Moore should never have had access to a weapon and called for society to “try to identify ways we can keep the firearms out of the hands of people with this type of mental disease and defect.”
Moore asked for forgiveness from the victims' family “as I struggle to forgive myself.” He said in a statement read by his attorney “how terribly sorry one parent is to another, as I have three daughters of my own. ... I don’t know how I would be able to breathe without one of my own.”