Franklin man found not guilty in father's murder by insanity - WSMV News 4

Franklin man found not guilty in father's murder by insanity

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A Franklin man charged with second-degree murder for the stabbing of his father was found not guilty Tuesday by reason of insanity.

Daniel Cantrell's trial only lasted about two hours. The sole witness for the prosecution and defense was a state psychiatrist.

"He believed he was a robot, that his father was a robot, and he was having delusions," defense attorney David Raybin said.

Cantrell's father, 65-year-old Oliver Cantrell, was found dead at his home in Brentwood on April 2.

Daniel Cantrell admitted to the killing and was charged with second-degree murder.

According to Raybin, Oliver Cantrell had taken his son to see a doctor for his mental health issues the day of the murder.

"Oliver Cantrell was trying to help his son, that's the tragedy in this," Raybin said.

Oliver Cantrell and his wife were building a new house. Oliver and Daniel Cantrell stopped by later that day to see it.

"At that time, Daniel Cantrell came under the delusion and thought the construction workers were going to harm him with the hammers and noise," Raybin said.

The defense said in his psychotic state, Daniel Cantrell believed his father was out to harm him, and he became violent when they returned home.

"Then Daniel attacked his father and stabbed him," Raybin said. "Then Daniel's wife got home. She was the first one on the scene, found Oliver and called 911."

The state and defense agreed on the facts of the case. The state psychiatrist testified that Daniel Cantrell, who had worked as an information technology director for a company in Franklin, is paranoid schizophrenic and psychotic. He has been getting treatment for years.

"Really there was no question about it, but by statute, we have to go forward and have the court make the finding," said Kim Helper, Williamson County District Attorney General.

More than a dozen of Daniel Cantrell's family members, including his mother, sat behind him as Judge Timothy Easter read the verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity.

"You are certainly deserving of this community's regret and sympathy," Easter said.

"His father was his best friend and he's completely distraught and will have to live with this the rest of his life," Raybin said.

The state psychiatrist testified that Daniel Cantrell tried to take his own life while awaiting trial. He was sentenced to be admitted in the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute for treatment.

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