David Earl Kinney’s Diagnosis Admissible in Belmont County Murder Case

A judge ruled Thursday that murder suspect David Carl Kinney’s diagnosis of acute stress disorder will be admissible as evidence during his upcoming trial.

Kinney, 30, of Brilliant is accused of the May 7 murder of Brad McGarry at McGarry’s Bellaire home.

Kinney appeared for a hearing Thursday before Belmont County Common Pleas Judge Frank Fregiato in preparation for his trial, set to begin Jan. 29.

During Thursday’s hearing it was not necessary for Delaney Smith, an adjunct clinical professor at Ohio State University Medical Center in Columbus, to testify regarding her September and October examinations of Kinney. Fregiato said Smith will give her testimony after Kinney himself takes the stand and testifies.

“She can testify as to how she reached her diagnosis, that after the incident he was suffering from acute stress disorder,” Kinney’s defense attorney, Chris Gagin, said.

“She can’t testify as to the truthfulness about whether it was self-defense.”

Kinney reported finding the body of McGarry, 43, to police. Kinney had said he found the remains while visiting the home with his wife and daughter.

Days later, law enforcement interviewed Kinney, leading to his arrest after he allegedly gave several conflicting stories under questioning and eventually claimed to have shot McGarry in self-defense.

Investigators believe a romantic relationship existed between Kinney and McGarry.

At trial, Gagin said he will dispute the reliability and credibility of Kinney’s confession. He said Smith’s testimony would shed light on Kinney’s mindset at the time.

“The defense’s hope is that it will help explain David’s actions and comments to law enforcement. That is different from the state’s theory that he was simply lying to cover up a crime,” Gagin said.

Fregiato ruled during a prior hearing that Kinney’s interview with law enforcement is admissible.

Gagin added he also intends to argue that no murder took place, but that in the course of an argument between Kinney and McGarry, McGarry drew a gun and Kinney acted in self-defense.

The Belmont County Prosecutor’s Office continues to await test results from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation regarding a gun found earlier this month along Ohio 7 near Shadyside. The weapon matches Kinney’s description of the gun that was used to shoot McGarry, but it was found several miles south of where Kinney reportedly told investigators he discarded a gun.

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