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SUNY Gunman Found Guilty, Sane

January 13, 1996

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ A man who held a college class hostage at gunpoint while ranting about having a microchip implanted in his head was declared legally sane Friday and convicted of assault and kidnapping.

Ralph Tortorici, 27, was acquitted of three counts of attempted murder and found guilty of two counts of assault, four counts of kidnapping and reckless endangerment and gun charges.

The Dec. 14, 1994 hostage standoff inside a Greek history class at the State University of New York at Albany ended when Tortorici was disarmed by a handful of students.

One of those students, Jason McEnaney, was shot in the abdomen and leg as they overpowered Tortorici. He later filed a $20 million lawsuit against the school, saying it didn’t protect him well enough.

Tortorici’s lawyer pursued an insanity defense. He told the jury Friday that Tortorici is a paranoid schizophrenic who believed government conspirators had implanted computer chips in his head.

The jury deliberated less than two hours before finding Tortorici both sane and guilty.

Tortorici faces roughly 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for March 1.

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