Psychologist: Bomb maker mentally ill

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2005

An Ironton man who allegedly created an explosion that damaged his house was suffering from a mental problem but still may have known what he was doing the day his work sent firefighters rushing to his residence.

That was the gist of a criminal psychologist's mental evaluation of Todd Terkhorn, 24, of 1747 Kevin St.

During a pretrial conference Wednesday, Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Richard Walton said the evaluation performed by Bob Stinson of Shawnee Forensics Center showed Terkhorn suffers from a "severe mental disorder … and was symptomatic at the time he was charged."

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Walton also said the evaluation indicated Terkhorn, "did know the difference between right and wrong."

Terkhorn's attorney, Mark McCown, asked that the contents of the evaluation be sealed from the public pending the trial, a request Walton granted. Since the evaluation was received only Friday, McCown also asked that he be given additional time to prepare for a trial.

McCown said the defense intends to have their own mental evaluation performed on Terkhorn but said the not guilty by reason of insanity defense is "still out there."

Terkhorn was arrested May 6 after he allegedly started a fire at his house with a homemade explosive device. Components of a second explosive device were recovered from an automobile at the scene.

In other court matters, a Chesapeake man will go to prison for six months after he admitted to violating the terms of his community controlled sanctions.

David B. Crace, 47, of 96 Private Drive 1206, was sentenced to four years sanctions May 25 on a felony domestic violence conviction. At that time, Walton ordered Crace to refrain from contacting the victim, and refrain from going around her residence. Authorities said he did just that June 29.

His attorney, Mark McCown, argued he should not be sent to prison since the victim has not complained about his visit.

"All he did was see his wife," McCown said. "I don't believe this warrants prison time."

But Walton sided with Assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor Charles Cooper. He cited a long history of domestic violence in the Crace household in opting to hand down prison time.

"One of the things of your community controlled sanctions was that you were told not to go around her or her residence or you would violate.

You asked us three or four times, can you get back together with your wife and the answer was 'no'," Walton said. "You decided to go ahead and do it anyway, no reason except that you love each other. If you really loved each other you wouldn't be kicking and fighting and doing harm to each other. "

"I've never had counseling," Crace protested. "I'm willing to go through it."

"You've had years to get some (counseling)," Walton said. "What have you done?"