Defense Wants Psychiatric Witnesses for Defendant in Marine Killing
Attorneys for a Marine accused of bludgeoning his Camp Pendleton roommate to death last fall want behavioral and medical experts to testify on his behalf.
The defense team for Lance Cpl. Darren Evans presented two of those witnesses to a military judge at Camp Pendleton on Tuesday. The defense is seeking an order approving their testimony and payment of the fees for their pretrial work.
Evans, 20, is accused of premeditated murder in the Nov. 6 death of Lance Cpl. Mario Arias Jr.
Prosecutors say a drunken Evans used the claw at the end of a crowbar on Arias as he slept in the room they shared at the base.
The prosecution has alleged that Evans was apparently upset with Arias for confronting him about excessive drinking.
During Tuesday’s brief hearing, psychiatrist Peter Breggin told the judge that he believes exhaustive background research on Evans is required and that he and another specialist can do that work.
Breggin is a considered an expert on antidepressant drugs and how they may contribute to increased suicide and violence in the military. He also has expertise in how antidepressants interact with alcohol.
Testimony at an earlier hearing showed that Evans had consumed a large amount of alcohol before Arias was killed, and had recently been prescribed antidepressants after threatening suicide over problems with a girlfriend.
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