Attorneys Divided on Robert Carter’s Insanity Defense Claim

A mental health report from Saint Elizabeth’s on Robert Carter was presented in court Friday afternoon, but prosecutors and defense attorneys disagree on exactly what the report found.

Carter, 40, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of his 13-year-old daughter, Angel Morse.

The mental health report by a psychologist found that Carter was “suffering from psychotic symptoms at the time of the crime” but that those symptoms were “at his own doing” because he “voluntarily ingested illegal substances.”

Prosecutors said that based on this report, they don’t believe an insanity defense is legal. But Carter’s attorney, Steven Kiersh, is seeking a psychiatrist to examine Carter and conduct a brain scan. The scan would determine if Carter has any brain damage from long-term use of narcotics, which could explain the psychotic symptoms, Keirsh said.

Keirsh added that Carter agrees with the government’s evidence and claims on many points associated with the 24 charges against him.

There is very little dispute as to what happened that day,” Kiersh said.

A trial is set for Nov. 5, 2012.

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