Thursday, July 10, 2014

Guam: Update--Psychiatrist Testifies on Behalf of Defense in Trial of Man Who Killed Three, Injured 11

According to The Associated Press, the final defense witness in the murder trial of a man charged with killing three Japanese tourists in a Guam resort area testified that the defendant was insane during last year's rampage.

Chad Ryan DeSoto, 22, plunged into a downward spiral of psychotic depression after the loss of two anchors in his life: his grandfather who died and his girlfriend who lived in Utah, forensic psychiatrist Dr. Martin Blinder MD testified on Wednesday (July 9).

DeSoto is charged with aggravated murder, accused of running a car onto a sidewalk, ramming into a convenience store, then getting out and stabbing bystanders. Kazuko Uehara, 81, and Rie Sugiyama, 29, were stabbed to death. Hitoshi Yokota, 51, was hit by a car and died in a hospital two days later. Another eleven people were hurt in the solo attack in February 2013. 

COMMENT: "From a purely clinical perspective, there is no possible alternative explanation that I can come up with to explain why he did what he did except that he was operating...he was driven by a psychosis and this psychosis drove out the good parts of him--the parts that would know this is not acceptable," Blinder said. 

"He had no capacity to weigh these thoughts. His mind was no longer functioning like a normal person. His mind was functioning like an insane person."

Blinder said several times during his testimony that DeSoto is "crazy."

DeSoto has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental illness. The defense rested its case after Dr. Blinder's testimony.
Prosecutors were expected to call five rebuttal witnesses Thursday (July 10).

The judge had yet to rule on a motion accusing DeSoto of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors said he inappropriately spoke with two witnesses from jail.