Commonwealth Journal


June 27, 2014

Pulaski legal community stunned by shooting

Somerset —

The community was left shocked Friday after the shooting death of prominent defense lawyer Mark Stanziano.
Those who worked closely with Stanziano remember a passionate, knowledgeable lawyer who fought for his clients’ rights — and they’re reeling in the aftermath of his death. 
“I’m absolutely devastated,” said local defense attorney Robert Norfleet. “Disbelief, shock ... there’s no adjective to describe it.
“He (Stanziano) was my mentor, and he took me under his wing, helped me develop into the lawyer I am today,” added Norfleet, who was out of town on vacation with his family when he heard that Stanziano, 57, was shot and killed outside his office early Friday morning. 
The alleged shooter, Clinton David Inabnitt, 40, was arrested almost immediately and lodged in the local jail. 
“I don’t know what to say,” said an obviously-shocked Scott Foster, another local defense attorney. “It’s just absolute disbelief. Mark did his job and did it well and never harmed anybody.”
Stanziano is a nationally-known defense attorney. 
His tragic death reminded Chief Circuit Judge Jeffrey Burdette of the fragility of life and dangers associated with job performances.
“Life is too fragile, particularity in the legal setting,” said Burdette. “We have to do something to prevent these senseless killings.
“Mark’s mission field was in issues of hearts and minds of the poor, those accused under the law, and of all citizens. I’m shocked at the violent behavior that took his life. His was a life of service under the constitution, not measured by his many accolades and recognitions, but by honestly serving people. We have suffered an immeasurable loss.”
Stanziano’s dedication to his clients is well known. 
“He was one of the best I knew or will ever know,” said Norfleet. “He studied the law, he lived the law.”

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