Report: Adam Lanza Acted Alone, But Had No Apparent Motive

The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Stephen Sedensky
Stephen Sedensky

Joel Faxon, an attorney at Stratton Faxon in New Haven and member of Newtown’s police commission, said  commission members will review the report, including the amount of time it took for police to enter the school. But, he noted, that decision has to be put in the context of the entire crime scene.

“There were a lot of things going on outside the school a the time, there were shots being fired inside and when [officers] got there, there were people outside,” Faxon said. “It was an ongoing, stressful, developing crime scene, and at the same time, we need to know exactly what happened during that period of time [before police entered the building].”

Faxon said that in reviewing the investigative report, he learned a lot about Adam Lanza’s mental state. Specifically, the report referred to the shooter’s windows being covered with black plastic, and violent images of school shootings and suicides were found in his room.

“The material I hadn’t been made aware of in the past really focused on Lanza’s complete disconnect from reality,” Faxon said. “I know the guy was crazy, but I had no idea that it was as bad as depicted in the report. And how his mother would provide him with checks for him to get weapons and allowing him to live in her house in the mental state he was in. They would only communicate though emails and they lived together in the same house.”

If Lanza’s mother, Nancy, hadn’t  been the shooter’s first victim, Faxon said he believes she would have been criminally responsible for providing him with the weapons “in his mental state.”

“To live with a person who, to me, seems obviously insane is really shocking. How she could have all of those weapons in that house is beyond me.”

There had been some criticism from public officials and open records advocates about the length of time it was taking Sedensky to release the results of the state investigation. In fact, the 44 pages released Monday represent only a fraction of the information gathered by investigators. A full report is scheduled to be released early next year.

"A release of a summary report before the release of the full report is highly unusual," said John Thomas, a professor at Quinnipiac University Schools of Law & Medicine, who studies issues surrounding mental health and gun laws.

Dan Klau, a Hartford attorney who specializes in First Amendment law, agreed that the decision to release a summary report before the full evidence file is a reversal of standard practice.

"What I found troubling about the approach of the state's attorney is that from my perspective, he seems to have forgotten his job is to represent the state of Connecticut," said Klau, who practices at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter. "His conduct in many instances has seemed more akin to an attorney in private practice representing Sandy Hook families. What I found troubling about the approach of the state's attorney is that from my perspective, he seems to have forgotten his job is to represent the state of Connecticut."

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