A homeless man, who earned money as a street performer, is seeking to move his murder trial out of Hardin County in a letter written to Hardin Circuit Judge Kelly Mark Easton, according to court documents.
In the one-page letter written in pencil, Joseph Capstraw, 21, wrote “due to the severity of my case and its high-profile nature, I feel that a trial here in Hardin County will prove to be an unfair disadvantage for me.”
Capstraw is scheduled to stand trial next month in the beating death of Amber Robinson, 18, who died a year ago Sunday of blunt force trauma to her head, according to the Hardin County Coroner’s Office.
Capstraw was arrested early July 7, 2018, after roaming a neighborhood near Joan Avenue in Elizabethtown and causing a disturbance, Elizabethtown police said. He admitted to killing Robinson after an argument with her, the arrest citation said.
According to court records, there has been no decision offered in a possible change of venue for the trial.
Capstraw further wrote, “ ... I feel the details of my case have painted an inaccurate picture of who I am, and is causing me to receive unlawful and unfair disadvantages from those such as my lawyer and the person who evaluated my mental health.”
Capstraw said in the letter he has “a history of mental illness and that I also feel I cannot make the best decisions without proper medicine and care.”
In a court document filed last year, his attorney, public defender Mark Rice, wrote, Capstraw “may have been acting under the influence of these mental illnesses when these acts occurred.”
The defense has hospitalization records for Capstraw from Florida that show he had been prescribed on different occasions Seroquel and Depakote, according to the document.
Seroquel is used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, according to drugs.com. Depakote can be prescribed to treat manic episodes related to bipolar disorder. It also is used to prevent migraine headaches as well as seizure disorders.
An arrest report said Capstraw told police he blacked out and when he recovered, he saw Robinson had been badly beaten and he had multiple injuries to his hands.
Capstraw and Robinson both lived in Florida, but family members believe they first met in June 2018 at a gathering of the Rainbow Family of the Living Light inside the Chattahoochee National Forest near Dahlonega, Georgia, and eventually made their way to Kentucky.
In Louisville, an Elizabethtown homeowner saw Capstraw and Robinson walking along a road, police said. They told him they were homeless and he reportedly offered them a ride and a place to stay for the night. Police said he left the home on Joan Avenue and hours later, police were called around 2 a.m. July 7 and found Robinson. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Capstraw, who is scheduled for an Aug. 26 trial, is being held in lieu of a $1 million cash bond in the Hardin County Detention Center.