Modified: March 23, 2015 1:31pm
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces that 32 year-old Michael Moore, of 580 Wyoming St. in the City of Buffalo was found to be not responsible, by reason of mental disease or defect, of two counts of Murder in the 2nd Degree by State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Burns.
The court found that the People proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant fatally shot 30 year-old Kayla Humphries, his estranged girlfriend and mother of his two young children, at her North Buffalo apartment. The court also found that the People proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that approximately two hours later, the defendant fatally shot 30 year-old Darrell Bailey, aka by his hip-hop stage name, “D Black” on Bailey Ave. in the City of Buffalo.
The court also found, however, that the defendant was legally insane, despite the fact the defendant had no psychiatric history. Although the law requires the defendant to prove that he was insane, Justice Burns specifically criticized the opinion of Dr. Gary Horwitz, an expert called by the prosecution.
Dr. Horwitz testified that, in his opinion, the defendant was not insane but under the influence of cocaine at the times of the murders. Justice Burns characterized this opinion regarding the defendant’s cocaine intoxication as “rife with speculation” despite the fact that the defendant had a 10 year history of cocaine abuse, had been repeatedly diagnosed by medical professionals as cocaine dependent, was on probation at the time of the murders for felony cocaine possession, and that cocaine was found in the defendant’s constructive possession at the time of his arrest.
It should be noted that, under federal law, both the prosecution and defense must agree to a bench trial instead of a jury trial. Under New York law, the prosecution has no say as to whether the defendant will be tried before a jury or a judge. In other words, the defendant selects how he will be tried in a state trial.