House Republican Floor Leader Jeff Hoover, a defense attorney by trade, has known and worked with Mark Stanziano for many years and says he was stunned by the news out of Somerset Friday morning.
Stanziano, 57, was fatally shot as he walked near his law office. Police have taken 40-year-old Clinton Inabnitt into custody in connection with Stanziano's death. He's now charged with murder.
“Well I was just in shock and disbelief,” said Hoover. “Then I was sick at my stomach thinking that such a senseless act could take place, you know, just a guy going to his law office and he gets gunned down.”
Hoover, who works in neighboring Russell County, says Stanziano never shied away from taking high-profile cases and called him a “very, very good” defense attorney.
“He was very knowledgeable; he was very good in front of a jury. He did not shy away from high-profile or high-publicity cases. In fact, I think Mark enjoyed those.”
Hoover says representing accused criminals in small town, high-profile cases can be especially challenging. He says he had known Stanziano for many years and had several cases pending with him.
Police say the man charged in connection with Stanziano’s death had contact with the attorney as recently as Thursday. Inabnitt told police Stanziano had failed to help him with an unknown problem.