A Southern California murder trial would be just another tragic tale of neighbour shoots neighbour, except the accused believes that he is a werewolf … and he believed his victim was a vampire, according to the testimony of a forensic psychologist.
Reports the San Luis Obispo-based Tribune:
The District Attorney’s Office says Mark Andrews, 51, committed murder when he shot Colleen Barga-Milbury, 52, twice on May 22, 2013. But Andrews has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.
[Forensic psychologist Carolyn] Murphy said Andrews has schizophrenia and suffers from fixed delusions, which she defined as false beliefs that continue over time.
The first record of Andrews believing he was a werewolf, she said, dates to 1996, though she suspects he had that same delusion during his first psychotic episode three years earlier.
“(He believes) he transforms into a werewolf,” she said, and “holds the spirit of the wolf.”
Murphy said Andrews believed the voice of God commanded him to kill Barga-Milbury, whom he believed was a vampire.
In 2009, according to court records, Andrews believed a different neighbour was a vampire.
Andrews left mounds of dirt and flour on that neighbour’s door and once pounded on the neighbour’s door, calling her a “bitch,” though she didn’t answer.
Despite his history of mental illness. Andrews was known to not be taking his medications regularly.
The deputy district attorney on the case, Matt Kraut, doesn’t buy the insanity plea.
He suggested that various people who had interactions with Andrews before and after the murder did not detect psychotic behaviour, including police who interviewed him after the shooting, jail staff and the defendant’s treating psychiatrist, who had described Andrews as relatively stable three months earlier.
Adding another wrinkle to this sad tale: earlier in the trial, the jury heard a recording of Murphy telling his mother he wanted to be “executed and die” just days after the 2013 crime.