COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The man who has admitted to a string of highway shootings that terrorized Ohio residents planned them in advance and showed rational thought, a prosecutor told jurors yesterday.
''Life is about choices," Assistant Prosecutor Ed Morgan said in his opening statement in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
Charles McCoy Jr., 29, pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to 12 shootings at moving vehicles on Columbus-area highways and nearby houses and a school.
One woman riding in a car was killed.
The shootings occurred over five months in 2003 and 2004.
His attorneys must prove that untreated paranoid schizophrenia kept McCoy from knowing right from wrong. If the jury agrees, he would be hospitalized until a judge frees him.
In detailing the 12 shootings, Morgan tried to show how close the shots came to passengers. He noted that bullets hit cars' hoods and shattered driver-side windows.
The defense opening statement was to be presented later in the trial, after the prosecution case has been completed.
Earlier this week, his attorneys had acknowledged for the first time that McCoy was responsible for the shootings.
On Wednesday, the jurors and alternates toured the 12 sites. Both the prosecution and defense had asked that jurors be taken to see them before testimony began.