Psychiatrist to examine accused murderer

A Kingman man charged with the shaking death of his infant daughter has been granted county funds for a psychiatrist to testify in his defense.

During a hearing Wednesday in Mohave County Superior Court, Judge Steven Conn

granted $3,000 for a Scottsdale psychiatrist to testify during the trial of Steven Raymond Zuncs.

Zuncs is charged with first-degree murder and child abuse in the shaking death of his daughter in November.

In March, Conn granted $3,500 for a pathologist's testimony but denied granting $3,000 for a psychiatrist to testify at Zuncs' trial.

Conn said he needed more information from the defense to warrant paying for a mental health expert.

In his new motion for a psychiatrist, defense attorney Vincent Iannone said statements Zuncs made in police interviews were interesting from a psychological as well as a legal standpoint.

Iannone also said testimony by a psychiatrist could help determine mitigating factors in Zuncs' sentencing if he is convicted.

Deputy Mohave County Attorney Derek Carlisle said prosecutors do not normally oppose defense motions for medical experts but oppose this motion.

Carlisle said he still had not seen any specific reason for the expert.

Conn cited the sentencing range as his reason for granting county funds to a second expert witness for the defense.

Conn said if Zuncs is convicted, he could be sentenced to life or life with parole after 35 years.

Zuncs, now 20, could be free when he is 55, still fairly young compared to spending the rest of his life in prison, the judge added.

Zuncs is charged with killing the infant at a Kingman apartment on Roosevelt Street on Nov.

15.

Paramedics responded to a report of an infant who was not breathing.

The baby was taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center and later flown to a Phoenix hospital, where she died the next morning.

A Phoenix doctor as well as the Maricopa County medical examiner believed the injuries were consistent with an infant being severely shaken.

The infant also had bleeding on the brain and bruising on her abdomen, the doctors' reports stated.

Zuncs is also charged with third-degree burglary and theft for breaking into cars at a Kingman car dealership on Stockton Hill Road in September.