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Houston, TX (Rotters) - George Secrest, attorney for former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay, today filed a brief with the judge presiding over Lay's fraud trial, requesting that Mr. Lay's plea be changed from one of "not guilty" to "not guilty by reason of insanity". Mr. Lay was reportedly taken to a local psychiatric hospital late last night in an apparent acutely psychotic state. The details surrounding Lay's admission were not available and his legal team refused to comment, but did provide a photograph of Mr. Lay entering treatment.
"Perhaps we should have been a little better at seeing this coming," Secrest stated to reporters at a press conference. "If you look back at Ken's testimony, the clues are there. His list of other people who were responsible for the collapse of Enron just kept growing and growing into a huge paranoid conspiracy. At this point we don't know what the jury will make of it, we're just more concerned with seeing that Mr. Lay gets the help that he needs."
Both sides have rested in the case, and the jury is expected to begin deliberations next week. It was not immediately clear how the judge in the case accepted the request for a plea change, and a ruling on the motion was expected later today. Lawyers for co-defendant Jeffery Skilling immediately responded that they would insist upon a mistrial on the grounds that Skilling was acting under orders, and could not have possibly known of Lay's apparent decades long fight with mental illness.
An anonymous Lay family member stated that they had seen his break with reality coming over this last week's stressful testimony. Late last night they stated that Lay began mumbling incoherently to himself and seemed to be responding to voices heard only by him. They became concerned and called authorities after he began laughing hysterically and loudly repeating, "Well, pardon me, George!"