The insanity phase of John Jason McLaughlin’s trial continues.
Dr. Maureen Hackett, a Twin Cities psychiatrist, was on the stand again this morning after testifying all day Monday. She said McLaughlin has schizophrenia. His mental illness was so severe at the time of the shooting that it meets Minnesota’s tough standards for finding that someone is not responsible for his or her criminal actions, she said.
Hackett’s testimony on Monday revealed that McLaughlin has an imaginary companion named Jake who talks to Jason and sometimes appears to him during court proceedings. Hackett also said McLaughlin believes he has interacted with drug enforcement agent types who live in the woods near his Cold Spring home.
The defense also called Dr. Richard Lentz, a Park-Nicollet Clinic psychiatrist, who testified that he believes McLaughlin has schizophrenia. McLaughlin asked for more medication after reportedly seeing dead people in his cell at a detention facility, Lentz said.
Prosecutor Bill Klumpp has argued that McLaughlin is faking mental illness and that his hatred and jealousy of more popular students drove him to kill.
This morning, Klumpp said that McLaughlin’s description of his mental illness has been inconsistent and that the teen has given three different versions of when he first began to hear voices.
Klumpp repeatedly pointed out that no one had suspected that McLaughlin was mentally ill before the shootings. He said there are other explanations for symptoms Hackett had described.
And what I think is the most damning argument from the prosecution…
Klumpp also noted that Hackett said schizophrenics have problems thinking clearly: McLaughlin was capable of high-level thinking and decided that a stint in prison was worthwhile if he could hurt Seth Bartell,14.
“He did a cost-benefit analysis,” Klumpp said.
I wonder what he thinks of the cost now.