St. Peter Attempted Murder 25 Jan 13

A Minnesota Security Hospital patient charged with attempted murder made his first appearance in court Thursday. 49-year-old Burton James Ewing Jr was out on a day pass from the St. Peter facility last May when he allegedly stabbed his mother more than 20 times at nearby Seven Mile Creek Park. His mother survived the incident, and did attend Thursday’s court hearing. Ewing will reportedly claim mental illness as a defense. His case has been on hold while he was evaluated by psychology experts. The results of those examinations are being kept confidential, but the assault and murder trial is moving forward. The defense is still planning to claim mental illness, and Ewing has reportedly waived his right to a jury trial. Prosecutors are requesting a longer prison sentence than what is called for by state guidelines due to the cruelty of the alleged attack, the multiple weapons and injuries involved, and the degree of planning used.