Calling the situation a "true tragedy" Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael on Friday sentenced Franklin Taylor Arnett, a man who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, to 10 years of incarceration for causing the death of his grandfather.
Arnett, 27, who was indicted for murder in the January 2009 death of Taylor Arnett, 78, had earlier pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, to an amended charge of second-degree, or involuntary, manslaughter.
The two men had gotten into an altercation on Dec. 9, 2008 while arguing about bringing trash bins back from the curb at 1457 Anniston Drive, the younger Arnett told police. Taylor Arnett died from his injuries Jan. 2, 2009.
"Frankie, we love you," several members of Arnett's family said to him as he was brought out of a prisoner holding room to stand before the judge in a courtroom.
"We all recognize that there is a mental illness involved here that has tragically resulted in a death," Ishmael said.
The judge said he didn't think there was anyone in the courtroom who thought the younger Arnett's actions were intentional, but because a loss of life and a "fairly volatile situation" were involved, he could not give Arnett probation. Ishmael said there was a substantial risk that Arnett would commit another crime.
Public defender Tom Griffiths said Arnett needed to be in a facility that treats people with mental illnesses, and the judge agreed. Ishmael said he would request strongly that the state Department of Corrections get him the treatment and medication he needs.
But Griffiths said later that Kentucky had a severe shortage of facilities to treat someone like Arnett.
Arnett told Ishmael at the sentencing that he was not retarded.
"Nobody's suggesting that you're retarded or anything like that," the judge said.
Ishmael allowed Arnett and his family to say goodbye to one another after the sentence was pronounced.
"Did you all want to give Franklin a hug before you leave?" the judge asked the family members sitting in the courtroom.
They stood in line, each one giving the defendant a hug.