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Insanity defense sought in standoff

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A Spotsylvania County jury will decide the fate of a man facing trial on three charges of attempted capital murder during an August shootout that left him and two deputies injured.

Michael S. Antosh

Michael Smith Antosh, 62, is scheduled to have a two-day jury trial starting May 22. He also faces three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony.

Defense attorney Peter Greenspun said today he intends to present a legal insanity defense, so Antosh will undergo an evaluation at Central State Hospital to determine if he was sane at the time of the shooting.

Greenspun argued at an earlier bond hearing that Antosh had stopped taking medication in June for a bipolar disorder since the early 1990s. As a result, his behavior was described by his family as “more and more unusual and bizarre.”

His situation took a dangerous turn last August after his wife, Marty, requested an emergency commitment order. She told police that he had a small collection of rifles and two 5-gallon buckets of ammunition.

Authorities responded to the 10300 block of Gordon Road around noon on Aug. 31 to serve the emergency custody order on Antosh. The order, signed by a judge, required that he be placed in a mental health facility for 72 hours for an evaluation. Antosh shares the residence with his wife, who was not home at the time.

When police arrived that Saturday, Antosh barricaded himself in his house and threatened deputies with a high-powered rifle. During the nearly 14-hour standoff, Antosh was uncooperative, and negotiation efforts did not progress, police said.

Antosh is accused of shooting from inside his home around 2:30 a.m. the next day, then coming outside with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle and continuing to fire at police.

Antosh was shot and critically wounded as he ran through the garage while shooting at police, according to court records.

Stafford County deputies assisted Spotsylvania officers, and during the exchange, two Stafford deputies were wounded.

Spotsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney William Neely said one of the deputies was shot in the neck and the other was shot in the leg and chest.

Two other deputies were shot at, but not injured. Some of the bullets Antosh used were steel-tipped, Neely said. The two injured deputies were transported to Mary Washington Hospital, where they were treated and released the same day.

Greenspun argued that Antosh—a retired Navy and commercial airline pilot—has no criminal history and is in very poor health.

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419