Crime And Law

Man accused in deadly Springfield Speedway shooting given mental evaluation as part of insanity plea

SPRINGFIELD — A man accused in a deadly shooting at a Springfield convenience store that killed one person and injured three others was given a court-ordered mental evaluation Wednesday that was part of an earlier insanity plea.

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Emil Witherspoon, 44, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity to charges including murder and felonious assault for the shooting on July 10 at the Speedway gas station on South Burnett Road.

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As part of the insanity plea, Witherspoon was taken to a facility in Dayton for a psychological exam Wednesday morning. Upon completion of the exam, a medical professionals that evaluated him will put their findings into a written report, then submit it to the judge in the case within 30 days.

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When the report is completed, the judge will review the report and decide during a competency hearing if Witherspoon is competent to stand trial.

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Killed in the shooting was Antoine Crooks, 32, of Westerville, Ohio. Crooks was the boyfriend of Tiffany Brugler, 41, who was also injured in the shooting. Burgler and Witherspoon had been in a previous relationship and police said the motive of the shooting was domestic violence.

Also injured in the shooting were two children, a 7-year-old girl and a 6-year-old boy. Both were released from area hospitals within days of the shooting.

Court records indicate Witherspoon will appear for a pre-trial hearing in Clark County court Thursday, however his trial won’t proceed until a ruling is made on his psychological evaluation.

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