Defense seek to hold newspaper shooting trial in 2 phases

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Lawyers for a man charged with killing five people at a Maryland newspaper are asking for his trial to be held in two parts, to determine guilt or innocence separately from whether his mental state made him not criminally responsible.

Jarrod Ramos' attorneys made the request in court filings last week.

Ramos has entered pleas of not guilty and not criminally responsible, Maryland's version of an insanity defense. He is charged with five counts of first-degree murder and other offenses. The state is seeking life in prison without possibility of parole.

County police said they captured the 39-year-old hiding under a desk at the Capital Gazette office after the June 2018 shooting in Annapolis, Maryland.

A pretrial hearing has been scheduled for June 25. A November trial has been set.

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