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June 30, 2014

Accused shooter pleads not guilty

Inabnit accused of murdering attorney Stanziano

Somerset —

The man accused of shooting and killing a well-known local attorney made his first court appearance. 
Clinton D. Inabnit, 40, was in court Monday afternoon for his arraignment in the shooting death of prominent Somerset lawyer Mark Stanziano, 57. 
Inabnit appeared before Pulaski District Judge Scott Lawless. He is being represented by attorney Richard B. Leary, of Covington, Ky. 
“I must question you ... do you feel as if you can effectively discharge your duties to the client and court?” Lawless asked Leary. 
Leary confirmed that he could represent Inabnit. 
Stanziano’s prominence has complicated Inabnit’s case, as he’s served as a teacher and mentor to several local defense attorneys. He’s a nationally-known trial lawyer, and was named one of the top 100 trial lawyers in Kentucky by The National Trial Lawyers (NTL).
Stanziano is best known for representing defendants in high-profile cases. 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. 
Several members of Stanziano’s family attended Monday’s hearing, during which Inabnit entered a not guilty plea to one count of murder.
Inabnit was arrested early Friday morning after he allegedly shot Stanziano multiple times in front of Stanziano’s office, located at 207 West Mt. Vernon Street. According to eyewitness accounts, Inabnit — who lives across from Stanziano’s office at 204 West Mt. Vernon Street — walked into the road and fired seven shots toward the attorney. Stanziano was shot “multiple times,” according to authorities, and was pronounced dead at Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital. 
When asked why he shot Stanziano, Inabnit reportedly told authorities that Stanziano “laughed at him,” according to the arrest citation. But Stanziano’s widow and law partner, Bethany Stanziano, said Mark Stanziano had spoken with Inabnit several times before Friday’s incident and offered him help for what Bethany Stanziano called “emotional problems.”

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Check out more action photos at www.somerset-kentucky.smugmug.com

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