Son found not guilty due to insanity in politician’s killing

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma man has been found not guilty by reason of insanity in the fatal stabbing of his father, who was the state’s labor commissioner when he died.

Authorities say Christian Costello, 29, fatally stabbed his father, Mark Costello, in August 2015 at an Oklahoma City ice cream shop. On Wednesday, Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott found Costello not guilty by reason of insanity and committed him to the state hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed with the decision, The Oklahoman reported .

“As Christian was evaluated, it became very clear that this crime was committed due to the fact he believed his delusions were true and felt like he had to murder his father,” District Attorney David Prater said after the hearing. “He will not ever be released without a judge approving it.”

Defense attorney Bob Ravitz said Christian Costello suffered numerous psychotic breaks before the attack.

“He’ll spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital. There’s no question in my mind. Any competent psychiatrist who found otherwise is not a competent psychiatrist,” Ravitz said.

Prosecutors say Costello repeatedly stabbed his father, and witnesses said the attack continued after Mark Costello ran into the parking lot where his wife, Cathy Costello, tried to intervene.

In a statement, Cathy Costello said Wednesday’s decision was “the best possible outcome.”

“We are pleased justice was fairly served but we are still brokenhearted from losing Mark and Christian to the tragic reality of severe mental illness,” she said.

Cathy Costello is one of six candidates running for labor commissioner this year.

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