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Defendant 'Guilty but Mentally Ill' in Beating Death of Fellow Mental Patient

Defense attorney says he'll ask for leniency when Jajuan Whitlow, 23, of Canton is sentenced in the January beating death of Albert Potter of Chesterfield Township. Both were mental patients at the time.

A Macomb County jury on Monday found a Canton man guilty but mentally ill in the fatal beating of an 80-year-old Chesterfield Township man at a psychiatric hospital in January. the Detroit Free Press reports.

Jajuan Whitlow, 23, of Canton could spend up to life in prison for second-degree murder in the January assault on Albert Potter, who was being treated for depression after a year of giving care to his wife, who had Stage 4 bone cancer.

The Macomb County Circuit Court jury returned the verdict after two hours of deliberation.

Whitlow’s defense attorney asked the jury to find his client not guilty by reason of insanity, which would have allowed him to avoid prison.

Whitlow’s attorney, Azhar Sheikh, acknowledged there’s a “fine line” between the two arguments and told the newspaper he plans to ask Judge Diane Druzinski for leniency when he is sentenced on Jan. 14.

Under sentencing guidelines, Whitlow must serve anywhere from 12 years to lfie in prison. Sheikh indicted he may ask the judge to depart from the guidelines.

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