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Elizabeth Holmes May Use Surprise Defense

Bloomberg reports she's exploring 'mental disease or defect' argument

(Newser) - Elizabeth Holmes is facing serious prison time over the fraud scandal that brought down her health startup Theranos. Now Bloomberg reports that the 36-year-old might make the surprise move of using what amounts to an insanity defense at her March trial. Her lawyers plan to introduce evidence to show that...

He Said He Faked Insanity, Got Released. Then, Murder
He Said He Faked Insanity,
Got Released. Then, Murder
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He Said He Faked Insanity, Got Released. Then, Murder

Inside the strange case of Anthony Montwheeler

(Newser) - In December 2016, Anthony Montwheeler, a patient at Oregon State Hospital, went before a state review board and claimed he had faked insanity in 1996, after kidnapping his wife and son at gunpoint, in order to avoid prison. It worked: Rather than being incarcerated, he was sentenced to remain under...

SCOTUS Holds Firm on One of Nation's Toughest Laws

High court says states are free to block insanity defense

(Newser) - Facing a challenge from a man sentenced to death for killing four people, the US Supreme Court responded Monday by upholding one of the country's strictest laws on insanity pleas. James Kahler—who claimed he was suffering from depression when he killed his two daughters, their mother, and their...

Was Killer Face-Biter Insane? Here's One Take

A psychiatrist says Austin Harrouff was, in fact, out of his mind

(Newser) - A prosecution psychiatrist says a Florida college student was legally insane when he fatally attacked a couple outside their home, chewing off part of the man's face, court documents filed this week show. Gregory Landrum's finding bolsters the case of Austin Harrouff's attorneys, who are planning to...

Man Who Murdered 4 in His Family Found Not Guilty

Lovequawn Scott was mentally ill at the time, court says

(Newser) - A South Carolina man who murdered four family members was found not guilty Friday by reason of insanity, WCSC reports. In a bench trial, Jennifer Kneece Shealy of the Ninth Circuit's Solicitor's Office said Lovequawn Scott was clearly ill and had been refused help at a mental health...

2nd 'Slender Man' Girl Will Plead Insanity

Both girls will be tried as adults

(Newser) - Both girls in Wisconsin's disturbing "Slender Man" case will now be pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Attorneys for 14-year-old Anissa Weier signaled this week that they want to change her plea in the attempted murder case from not guilty to "NGI," meaning that she'...

Sniper Suspect Killed 'Because They Wouldn't Talk to Me'

Witness recalls Eddie Ray Routh's words after arrest

(Newser) - The man accused of killing American Sniper Chris Kyle and a friend says he did it because the two men wouldn't talk to him, according to a witness for the prosecution. Gene Cole, a former sheriff's deputy, told a jury Friday that he overheard remarks by accused gunman...

Path to Massacre Lined With Lotto Tickets, Coffee Attacks

Shooting was second such attack in Isla Vista

(Newser) - When Elliot Rodger turned 19 in 2011, he decided that if he couldn't find "love, sex, friends, fun, acceptance, (and) a sense of belonging" in two years, then he would have his "Day of Retribution," his manifesto/memoir reveals. His quest for those things didn't go...

Judge Enters Not Guilty Plea for James Holmes

Holmes' attorneys had asked for 2-3 more months to decide plea

(Newser) - After James Holmes' attorneys said he was not ready to enter a plea this morning, the judge did it for him—not guilty on 166 counts, including the murder of 12 people in an Aurora movie theater last July and attempting to kill 70 others, reports the Denver Post . The...

James Holmes Could Be Given 'Truth Serum'

Plea due today in Aurora shooting

(Newser) - James Holmes' plea in the Aurora massacre is due today—and if he pleads insanity at the time of the shooting, he could be administered medication to confirm he's telling the truth. In a so-called "narcoanalytic interview," the defendant could receive inhibition-lowering drugs; these may include sodium...

Your 'Inner Psychopath' Could Make You a Big Success

A book by Kevin Dutton looks to learn from nutcases

(Newser) - What psychopaths have too much of, we could all use in small doses—or so argues Kevin Dutton in a new book called The Wisdom of Psychopaths. Easy charm, unassailable self-confidence, outsize ego, and resistance to self-blame are among the qualities that horrify us in Anders Breivik, say, but seem...

Guy in Mini-Dress Litters Lawn With Fake Explosives

About 40 homes evacuated in standoff with police

(Newser) - When police showed up at David Charles Baker's home yesterday, he was brandishing a shotgun and walking amid what looked like tripwires that were hooked up to propane and gas tanks on his front lawn, while shouting what officers describe as "nonsensical" things, the Salt Lake City Tribune...

Holmes Spitting at Guards, Forced to Wear Mouth Shield

Plus, judge bars cameras from courtroom

(Newser) - The odd behavior by the alleged Dark Knight shooter keeps getting loopier. Now James Holmes is spitting at guards so much that they're forcing him to wear a mouth shield when they take him from his cell, reports ABC News . Holmes' spacy appearance in court and telling the police...

Breivik Is Sane, Insists ... Defense

Prosecutors disagree as testimony wraps up

(Newser) - It's not exactly the way you'd expect things to shake out: Prosecutors want Anders Breivik ruled criminally insane—but the confessed killer's own lawyers say he knew what he was doing, Reuters reports. "Breivik wishes to be punished for his actions—that is, to be treated...

Breivik: I'd Rather Die Than Be Ruled Crazy

Norway shooter says psychiatric care would be 'ultimate humiliation'

(Newser) - Anders Behring Breivik insists he's not crazy, and that being declared criminally insane would be "a fate worse than death." The man who killed 77 people in Norway last summer has written a 38-page letter, in which he attempts to discredit the psychiatric report that deemed him...

Reagan Shooter Seeks More Time on the Outside

'Convalescent leave' could get John Hinckley out full time

(Newser) - Ronald Reagan shooter John Hinckley is seeking more time outside a mental health facility, and might leave permanently, AP reports. Hinckley was sent to a Washington mental hospital after a jury decided he was insane when he wounded the president and three others in 1982. But he was granted a...

Breivik Likely Won't Be Declared Insane

His alleged actions too carefully planned, executed for psychosis

(Newser) - Anders Behring Breivik, who admitted killing dozens in Norway last week, will likely not be declared legally insane because he appears to have been in control of his actions, the head of the panel that will review his psychiatric evaluation tells the AP . The July 22 attacks were so carefully...

Insanity Defense Will Be Tough for Loughner

Lawyer will be lucky if he avoids death penalty

(Newser) - Once upon a time, it would have been easy for Jared Lee Loughner’s lawyers to mount an insanity defense—after all, the guy sure seems nuts . But these days, that's easier said than done, legal experts tell the AP . Congress made it drastically harder to mount an insanity defense...

Britney Counseling Mel—Seriously

They're having late night heart-to-hearts

(Newser) - For advice on how to get re-hinged, lunatic ranter Mel Gibson has apparently been turning to ... Britney Spears. The disgraced star, 54, has been pouring his heart out to the poptart, sharing his fears that his recorded rants to his babymama Oksana Grigorieva are destroying his career, Britney has told...

Accused Ala. Shooter Bishop Likely Insane: Lawyer

Being denied tenure contributed to fatal shooting spree

(Newser) - The lawyer for an Alabama college professor accused of killing three colleagues during a faculty meeting said today he believes the teacher is insane, and that she says she can't remember the shooting. Amy Bishop, who has taught at the University of Alabama in Huntsville since 2003, has severe mental...

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