Closing arguments made in Conn. hostage-arson case

October 25, 2011 - 1:55 PM

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The prosecutor in the trial of a former Connecticut advertising executive charged with kidnapping his ex-wife and holding her hostage for nearly 12 hours has told jurors that the defendant only acted mentally ill to avoid prison time.

The prosecutor told jurors during closing arguments Monday that the real reason Richard Shenkman kidnapped his ex-wife and then burned down the South Windsor home they used to share in July 2009 was so he wouldn't have to hand it over to her as required in their divorce.

Shenkman's lawyer claimed his client was insane at the time.

The defense attorney told jurors that two psychiatrists had diagnosed Shenkman as having psychosis the day of the kidnapping and house fire, and that he had been previously diagnosed with mental illness.