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Exantus Trial: Officer Describes Fighting Suspect In Slaying Of Boy, 6

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Many of the details in this report are disturbing.

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Versailles police officer took the stand Tuesday morning, describing the chaotic scene he encountered in December 2015 as one the first responders to a Woodford County home where a 6-year-old boy was stabbed to death by an intruder.

Officer Scott Cottingham told jurors in a Lexington courtroom that he fought murder suspect Ronald Exantus, an Indianapolis man accused of breaking into the home and killing Logan Tipton with a butcher knife.

Cottingham said Exantus, who worked as a dialysis nurse, initially fought police and later critiqued how they performed CPR on the mortally wounded boy.

Defense attorneys declined to cross-examine Cottingham.

Prosecutors also played a recording of police interviewing Exantus after his arrest, in which the suspect appears calm and largely coherent but frequently rambles.

In the interview, Exantus offers personal information. He tells police he took anti-depressants but says he doesn't know why he went to Versailles.

"I didn't feel safe in Indiana, had resentment over my daughter," he says in the recording.

Police ask him why he is in Versailles, and Exantus said he was traveling to Florida to see his parents.

"I got lost," he tells them.

Prosecutors are working to show Exantus was not mentally ill at the time of the crime. Defense attorneys argue Exantus was delusional and in a psychotic state when Logan was killed.

The new details come a day after heart-rending testimony from Logan's father, Dean Tipton, who told jurors of fighting off Exantus and gathering up his dying child into his arms.

Tipton said Logan was struggling to breathe, and about 10 seconds later, the boy closed his eyes.

"He died in my arms," Tipton said on Monday.

Earlier Monday, prosecutors had played recordings of a 911 call made by Logan's then-11-year-old sister and police body camera footage from the night the boy was killed.

Versailles police have described the encounter as "a scene of chaos and terror."

Prosecutors say Exantus crept into the Tipton's Versailles home Dec. 7, 2015, and stabbed Logan to death and injured his sisters. Assistant prosecutor Keith Eardley said Monday that it took 60 to 90 seconds for the child to die.

Logan's now-13-year-old sister Koral also took the stand on Monday.

Eardley told the jury that the girl awoke that night to find Exantus plunging a butcher knife into her brother's head. Koral told jurors Monday that Exantus had two knives: a butcher knife and butter knife.

Prosecutors played a recording Monday of the girl calling 911 and saying, "We have a robber in my room."

Police body camera footage showed a chaotic scene. Police rushed to get Logan to the hospital and showed an officer calling Exantus a "piece of shit."

The defense had tried but failed to get a judge to rule Exantus mentally incompetent to stand trial.

On Monday, his defense attorney told jurors Exantus was mentally ill and described a man beset by paranoia and delusions.

"Ron has a mental illness," the defense attorney told jurors. "It made him drive from Indy to Versailles on the way to Florida."

Exantus has been under psychiatric evaluation since his arrest. A doctor testified that Exantus heard voices and exhibited odd behaviors before the slaying. Prior to Logan's death, Exantus had contemplated suicide but told the doctor that he had no means to do it.

The defense said Exantus had suffered concussions during years of playing football. They said prosecutors want to blame drugs but the issue is mental illness.

Exantus later ripped out his dreadlocks while in jail, the defense attorney said.

They said Exantus is no longer psychotic since receiving medication after his arrest.

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