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Psychiatrist: McGinnis Inconsistent In Statements

Posted: Thursday, September 3rd, 2009 at 6:30 am
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Both the defense and state prosecution rested in the murder trial of 39-year-old Knoxville resident Steven Dean McGinnis at the Marion County Courthouse Wednesday.

McGinnis, a Gulf War veteran who has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is charged in the September, 2008 shooting death of Knoxville resident Robert Ohl.

Witnesses taking the stand Wednesday included a former inmate at Marion County jail who testified that McGinnis was known to have at least once moved underneath his bed in an Army-crawl position and to also have woken up screaming, and disoriented at times. One of the positions of the defense is that McGinnis did not remember shooting Ohl at the time of the incident because he relapsed into a PTSD episode, which can affect memory, and that he was intoxicated during the shooting, among other defenses.

However, Dr. Michael Taylor, a psychiatrist who interviewed McGinnis after Ohl’s death, testified Wednesday that McGinnis was fully capable of forming and acting on an intent to do harm to Ohl, and was not affected enough by alcohol, his PTSD, or by any of the medications he was taking, to not understand the consequences of his actions. Dr. Taylor also said the testimony McGinnis gave during both a psychiatric evaluation and to law enforcement questioning conflicted in both McGinnis’ thoughts on Ohl, and how much alcohol he had the day of the shooting, among other inconsistencies.

Both jury instructions and closing arguments are set for Thursday at the courthouse.