Judge delivers verdict in trial of ex-Missouri State University instructor accused of killing colleague

Published: Jun. 2, 2023 at 11:19 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 2, 2023 at 5:20 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A Greene County judge found a former Missouri State University instructor not guilty by reason of insanity for the killing of a colleague. Edward Gutting will be placed in the custody of the Missouri Department of Mental Health.

Investigators say Gutting broke into retired professor Marc Cooper’s Springfield home in August 2016 and stabbed him. He also faced charges in an attack on Cooper’s wife as she tried to stop him.

Prosecutors spent about an hour giving their closing arguments. They emphasized that despite Gutting being diagnosed with schizophrenia, he knew exactly what he was doing when he took two knives from his house and drove across town to the Cooper home. The violent incident, they say, was fueled by Gutting’s desire to replace Cooper as a tenured professor in the history department.

Defense attorneys insisted Gutting’s illness prevented him from understanding what he did. They say he went to the Coopers’ home to seek career advice, and although he was intoxicated at the time of the crime, he was having a psychotic episode.

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