Vance Pleads Innocent by Reason of Insanity

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An Albany man accused of shooting a gun on East State Street has filed a plea of innocent by reason of insanity.

Steven Vance, 35, is charged with discharging a weapon from a public roadway and two counts of tampering with evidence, all third-degree felonies.

Vance was arrested in February after police responded to a report of shots fired near East State Street and Morris Avenue at about 12:20 a.m., according to previous Messenger reporting.

Five empty shell casings were found in in the roadway of East State Street and witness statements were obtained. A 9mm handgun was allegedly found blocks from the scene.

Vance was taken into custody about an hour after police responded, and allegedly tried to hide the weapon from officers.

Vance also allegedly hid a magazine cartridge containing two 9mm rounds of ammunition behind a tree near Merkle and Franklin avenues.

There were no injuries or damages as a result of the shooting, according to previous reporting.

According to the bill of particulars filed April 10 in the case, Vance is also charged with menacing by stalking for causing a woman to believe he “will cause physical harm to (the woman) or cause mental distress to (the woman)…”

Defense attorney Doug Francis, of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office in Athens, filed the insanity plea on Dec. 18.

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said the prosecution will just have to wait and see what an expert chosen to conduct a mental evaluation on Vance determines.

“It seems like a long time after the indictment to file this,” Blackburn said.