Insanity defense possible in serial stabbings

FLINT (AP) -- A man charged in a serial of fatal stabbings in Michigan will undergo two mental-health exams as his lawyers consider a possible insanity defense to murder charges.

Defense attorney Ed Zeineh says a Genesee County judge this week granted the request for evaluations of Elias Abuelazam.

Abuelazam is charged with three killings and six attempted killings in the Flint area and an attempted killing in Toledo, Ohio. He's also suspected in attacks in Leesburg, Va.

Zeineh says notice of an insanity defense has been filed to meet a legal deadline but says it's too early to know if that's an actual trial strategy.

Abuelazam's lawyers have asked that any trials be held outside Genesee County because of intense publicity. Judge Judith Fullerton says it's too early to decide.

Published: Fri, Jan 7, 2011