Mr. Bechard was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder secondary to his attacks on the residents of a nunnery. Expert testimony by Dr. Charles Robinson established that Mr. Bechard lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions. He was found not criminally responsible. The role of delusions and hallucinations (and the differentiation of the manifestations of these symptoms from the manifestations of alleged substance abuse and anti-social personality disorder) were keystone elements in the expert testimony.
(See also newspaper article "Doctors relate tales of madness in Bechard trial")
In a civil action seeking damages, Plaintiff Fodelmesi
alleged that his confession to a double homicide was coerced. Plaintiff's expert, Richard Ofshe, Ph.D.,
offered testimony that the false confession was of a coerced compliant
type. Defendant's expert Robinson disagreed
and challenged the degree of mental retardation suffered by the Plaintiff. The Defendant's expert also offered evidence
from the crime scene material to the issues at hand. The jury rejected all Plaintiff's claims of
negligence on the part of the New York State Police, the Duchess County Sheriff's Office, the Town of
Defendant Kigas starved to death her young daughter over period of five weeks. Defense expert Robinson demonstrated that the Defendant lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of her actions because of hallucinations and delusions suffered by the Defendant. These hallucinations and delusions caused the Defendant to believe that she was pregnant with a child fathered telepathically by Jazz guitarist Pat Metheny and that she was being tormented by devil worshipers in her apartment complex.
These symptoms caused her to believe that her child was possessed by evil and could be delivered back to God only in death through starvation. The Defendant was found not criminally responsible.
(See also newspaper article "Tonia Kigas found not guilty")
Defendant Mason acknowledged the killing by gunshot of his mother and brother. A tape recording captured the moments immediately preceding the fatal shootings. At issue was the bind over of this young man to stand trial as an adult and thereby receive a minimum twenty-five year sentence. Expert testimony by Dr. Charles Robinson addressed the issues of age versus maturity, dependence versus independence, the special dynamics of family life, and the differing competencies of adults and youth. Defendant Mason was sentenced as a juvenile and received residential treatment for three years.
(See also newspaper article "Mason ruled a juvenile)
Jonathan Curtis admitted the knifing death of his mother after a long night of drug and alcohol abuse. At issue was Jonathan’s status as a juvenile versus an adult (with adult status necessitating a minimum twenty-five year sentence). The Defendant’s expert testimony provided by Dr. Charles Robinson criticized the choice and utilization of tests employed by the State’s psychological expert. Robinson further opined that Jonathan (17 at the time of the offense) more closely resembled a juvenile than an adult in terms of his psychological make-up. Jonathan was tried as a juvenile and was committed to the care of the State's juvenile correctional facility until his21st birthday.
(See also newspaper article "Age is factor for trial")
Mr. Roberts had acknowledged the shooting death of his best friend in the course of a night's drinking. The State alleged that the shooting was an act of anger and sought conviction for murder. Defendant's expert Dr. Charles Robinson testified that the crime scene, Roberts' history and witness statements were all consistent with a failed suicide attempt the victim tried to foil. Roberts had a history of such attempts designed to bring about his "rescue" and thereby validate his right to live. In remarkable compromise, the jury found Roberts not guilty by reason of insanity. He was discharged from in-patient psychiatric care six months later.
Defendant Dedekian was charged with the suffocation death of her infant son. The defense retained Dr. Charles Robinson as an expert. At the conclusion of each of two contested hearings, the defense prevailed in their assertion that the Defendant was incompetent to stand trial. After four years of in-patient psychiatric treatment, the patient's competence was attested to by Dr. Robinson. At sentencing, the Judge ordered the Defendant to serve a six year term of probation to the satisfaction of her treating psychiatrist.
Defendant Kem pled guilty to the death of
his four year old stepson. The boy had
been "disciplined" over the course of three day holiday in an effort
to toilet train him. He died of these
Michaela Murphy, Esq.
Superior Court Somerset Skowhegan, Maine
Mr. Jamison was
convicted of manslaughter in the budging death of an elderly female
Elvis impersonator who had picked up the transient Mr. Jamison at a local bus depot.
Various elements of a so called “Imperfect self defense” including provocation, and
abnormal condition of mind were presented at trial and resulted in Mr. Jamisons
conviction for the lesser offense of manslaughter.
Kennebeck Superior Court
brought about the death of her four year old daughter over the course of
a three day psychotic episode. She was found Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of
Mental Disease which rendered her incapable of appreciating the wrongfulness of her
Waldo Superior Court
Ms. Ramsey was
found Not Criminally Responsible by Reason of Mental Disease in the
suffocation death of her infant son. The jury found in agreement with Dr. Robinson’s
testimony, that Ms. Ramsey post-partum depression had rendered her psychotic thereby
substantially incapacitating her ability to aspirate the wrongfulness of her
Penobscott Superior Court
Ms. Kegas starved her five year old daughter
to death over the course of a
four week period. In her delusional state she believed had become inhabited by the
devil. Her delusions included the belief that guitarist Pat Metheny was
communicating with her via his recordings. Ms. Kegas was found Not Criminally
Responsible by Reason of Mental Disease in the starvation death of her daughter.
State V. Gogan
KennebecSuperior Court Augusta, Maine
Ms. Gogan was the
victim of domestic abuse and isolation by her husband who also
controlled the defendant by the killing and torture of animals. Fearing for her
life, Ms. Gogan shot and killed her husband. She disarticulated his body and
distributed the remains in an isolated area of northwestern
Ms. Gogan turned herself in. In a plea bargain Ms. Gogan pled guilty to a
lesser offense and received a seven year sentence.
mandatory sentence of twenty five years for the conviction of homicide
Michaela Murphy, Esq.
State V. Bowie
Penobscot Superior Court
Mr. Bowie lived alone with his aging father. The defendant became increasingly
paranoid in regard to his father’s behavior. In a delusional state he hammered his
father to death, berried him in the snow and covered his head with hubcap. Defense
expert Charles Robinson PHD evaluated the defendant and found that he lacked the
substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions. Mr. Bowie was
found not criminally responsible.
Walter Hanstein, Esq.
See also the
FILICIDE: BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL AND PROFILING CONSIDERATIONS
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