Commonwealth Journal

Local News

July 7, 2014

Classmates to honor Stanziano through endowment

Somerset —

Classmates are honoring a local attorney who was killed last month through an endowment named in his honor. 
A message to 1982 graduates of the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, at the University of Louisville, states that an endowment fund has been created in Mark Stanziano’s honor.
“It is with great sadness that we mourn the loss of our classmate, Mark Stanziano,” the message states. “Mark was a prominent criminal law attorney and will be missed by so many.”
Stanziano, 57, was shot and killed outside his West Mt. Vernon Street law office on June 27, allegedly by Clinton D. Inabnit, 40. 
In the days leading up to the shooting, Stanziano had spoken with Inabnit a number of times, even offering to pay for medical treatment for what Stanziano’s family called “emotional problems.”
Inabnit remains in the Pulaski County Detention Center. He has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder. 
Stanziano, a nationally-known trial and defense lawyer, took many attorneys under his wing as a mentor, including local defense attorney Robert L. Norfleet. His friends and colleagues stated in the hours after his death that he’d always been willing to provide guidance to other lawyers, and he participated in many conferences as a teacher. 
The school’s criminal law moot court team, a competition team, now will be funded through “The Mark Stanziano Criminal Law Moot Court Fund.”
“We hope to keep Mark’s legacy alive by helping students improve their skills in the criminal law field,” the message states. 
Stanziano was involved in a number of headline-making cases all around the state. Most recently, he was representing Burnside preacher Kenneth Keith, charged with murder in the September 2013 deaths of Michael and Angela Hockensmith and Daniel Smith at a Danville pawn shop. He also represented defendant Danny Shelley, who shot Pulaski Sheriff Sam Catron in 2002, and he defended Jeff Coffey in the mid-90s after Coffey killed a young couple in rural Pulaski County. In both of those latter two cases, Stanziano prevented his client from getting the death penalty.

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