Judge To Rule On Sanity Of Sv Man

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A Gila County judge will decide the fate of a Star Valley man accused of trying to kill two people with an ax and setting fire to a home in late 2011.

Since Daniel Denuzzi waived his right to a jury trial, Superior Court Judge Peter Cahill will act as both judge and jury.

The state and defense presented their cases to Cahill in mid August and it is unclear when Cahill could make a ruling.

Cahill must first decide if Denuzzi is guilty and if he is, whether he was insane.

Denuzzi’s defense argues Denuzzi was out of his mind Nov. 18 when deputies arrested him on South Moonlight Drive.

Denuzzi had reportedly gotten into a dispute with a neighbor that day after the neighbor complained to the sheriff’s office that Denuzzi had threatened him.

Denuzzi allegedly chucked a flaming can of stove fuel through the front window of the man’s home in the 300 block of South Moonlight Drive.

When firefighters arrived, they found smoke billowing from the home and the homeowner hiding out back, uninjured.

But before deputies could arrest Denuzzi, he reportedly ran down the street carrying an ax and flinging it over his head.

With the ax in hand, Denuzzi allegedly approached a woman who happened to be driving down the street.

Denuzzi is charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder, for both the homeowner and female driver, arson, criminal damage, two counts of aggravated assault and threatening and intimidating behavior.

Deputy County Attorney Shawn Fuller said defendants rarely waive their right to a jury trial.

Denuzzi’s defense counsel presented expert testimony saying Denuzzi was insane that day. However, Fuller presented his own expert witness who disagreed.

A status conference for the case is set for Sept. 6.

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