Matthew Taranto, a 28-year-old man with Aspergers, has been accused of second-degree murder in the shooting death of his father. His attorney, Scott Miller, insists that Taranto acted out of fear:
"I can tell you one thing, this is definitely not a murder case," Miller said. "It may be a self-defense case. When his father pulled a weapon on him, my client was clearly afraid for his life. Some minutes later, that same semi-automatic pistol was used by my client to shoot his father." The shooting occurred in the basement, he added.
In the current phase of the Shaun Rossington trial, one of the defendants, a 17-year-old is being accused of being the primary attacker and the only one of the group of seven truly responsible for the death of Rossington, a 21 year old man with Aspergers. A lawyer defending other one of the gang accused the boy of sadism:
Andrew Campbell-Tiech, a QC defending Shelbourne, told the first 17- year-old boy giving evidence: "You tried to carve your initials into his back."
He replied: "Not at all."
Mr Campbell-Tiech continued: "That's the measure of the pleasure you get from the infliction of pain. You enjoy it, don't you?"
The boy, who admits manslaughter but denies murder, said: "Not at all. I didn't do anything."
Saptal Kaur Singh murdered her 12-year-old autistic son Ajit by forcing him to drink bleach.
David Farrell, defending, asked the 17-year-old boy: "How did matters come to an end?"
He responded: "By Nick jumping on to Shaun's head with two feet. Then we stopped and walked away.
"He was bloodied, definitely not unconscious. As I turned around, it seemed like he was getting to his feet. I told him not to grass.
"My intention was just to give him a kicking – a bloodied nose or mouth."
Mr Farrell said: "Did you think he had suffered real serious injuries when you left?" The teenager said: "No."
The trial for the seven young people accused of killing Shaun Rossington continues to yield gruesome and depressing testimony. Although I've been following the story closely, I've written very little about it because I find it so extraordinarily painful. But it is a story I think everyone who cares about people with autism needs to know and understand, so I'm going to try.
Shaun was twenty-one-years old when he was beaten and kicked to death on June 3, 2010. He had Aspergers Syndrome and other neurological differences. A gentle, six foot four sports fan, he lived with his parents and was afraid of the dark.
What is known for sure is that Shaun's body was found after a group of kids reported finding it in the road. As police investigated, they suspected that the finders were, in fact, responsible for Shaun's death.