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The man charged with brutally murdering his landlord last year on Clay Burgin Road may use his own mental health in defending himself against the charge.
Terrance Cram, 50, is charged with killing Tena McNeely, 49 last January at her residence about 14 miles outside of Lawrenceburg.
According to documents filed in Anderson Circuit Court, Cram’s attorney plans to introduce “mental health evidence relating to the defense of extreme emotional disturbance.”
That defense was confirmed when Cram appeared last Wednesday in Anderson Circuit Court. His new attorney is Casey Holland, a public defender who recently took over Cram’s defense.
He told Circuit Court Judge Charles Hickman that he is new to the case and asked for time to prepare for a jury trial that was originally supposed to begin last month.
Hickman said a new trial date for the end of July 2013, with a pretrial conference about a month before.
A mental health hearing on Cram was conducted last November.
McNeely apparently rented a room to Cram for about five years.
McNeely died of a brain injury from blunt impact, investigators said at the time, and may have lived from minutes to hours following her assault.
“The murder was brutal,” said Det. Kevin Calhoon of the Kentucky State Police.
Cram fled Kentucky after allegedly killing McNeely and was later captured in Arizona.
Along with allegedly killing McNeely, Cram also apparently locked up a half dozen of her cats in an outbuilding with no food or water. They were rescued and later adopted out by the East Shelbyville Animal Clinic, where McNeely was a longtime customer.
McNeely was a daughter of Trooper James McNeely, who died in April 1972 while on a flood rescue mission in Franklin County. His body was never recovered.