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Man accused in sword slayings can use insanity plea

Gulf War Veteran Franklyn 'Frankie' Duzant is accused of using a sword to kill his wife and son

Rene Stutzman
Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted February 19 2007, 10:29 AM EST,0,2246827.story?coll=sfla-news-florida

SANFORD -- A judge today ruled that a Lake Mary man may plead insanity for two slayings -- beheading his wife and chasing down his 11-year-old son and killing the boy with a sword while neighbors looked on.

Franklyn "Frankie" Duzant, 41, said nothing at today's brief hearing.

Assistant State Attorney Donna Goerner said the state would not oppose the insanity plea. However, she asked Circuit Judge Donna McIntosh to allow state experts to conduct a mental evaluation of Duzant, a disabled Army cook.

McIntosh agreed.

According to defense pleadings, two defense mental health experts will testify that Duzant was insane on the day last summer that he killed everyone in his household, his wife and son.

Defense attorney Diana Tennis said last week that it appears Duzant suffers from paranoid schizophrenia.

Based on the judge's order today, a psychiatrist and psychologist recommended by the state will now evaluate him to see if they agree.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

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