Theall gets public defender to represent him

By By JOLEEN FERRIS

(WKTV) - The Oneida County Public Defender's Office will represent the man who shot his three-month-old son to death in front of state troopers at his parents' Blossvale home last week.

Floyd Town Court Judge Christopher Clarkin called the office Tuesday morning and assigned the public defender to represent Theall at a felony hearing Thursday in Floyd Town Court. Now, attorneys there must begin their own investigation into what happened at Theall's parents' home on Tuesday and a large part of that investigation will center on Theall's mental state at the time.

"There may be some indication however small and again we just got into the case, that there might have been some mental health problems and if that is the case, all of those have to be tracked down," says Oneida County Public Defender Frank Nebush.

Nebush also pointed out that, even if all indications are that there is no history of mental illness in Theall's past, that won't be where his office's quest ends, but rather, where it begins.

"Whether or not there is a mental health history or not here we would still, given the nature of this case, undertake a mental health evaluation by one of our mental health experts just to have some idea if in fact there is a problem."

Building a defense on behalf of a man who has done the unthinkable is a monumental task, but one Nebush says his office is well-prepared to handle....and something in which they have plenty of experience.

"We bring the facts up. They may not be good for us; they seldom are but in some cases it would persuade a judge, persuade a jury, persuade the public even in some of these cases that the right thing was done; justice was done," says Nebush.

If Theall doesn't waive that felony hearing scheduled for Thursday, a judge could at that time hear from the three state troopers who witnessed Theall shoot his infant son.

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