Attorney Claims History of Mental Disorders in Accused Serial Killer's Family - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Attorney Claims History of Mental Disorders in Accused Serial Killer's Family

Derrick Todd Lee was in a St. Martinville courtroom Monday, where a judge denied a defense motion to delay the accused serial killer's attempted murder and attempted rape trial of Breaux Bridge nurse Diane Alexander. The defense was also denied more money to have Lee tested for mental disorders, which they claim his aunt and father suffered.

In their quest to capture more money, Lee's attorneys are now revealing his father has been hospitalized twice for manic depression and psychosis. Lee's lawyers say they want to hire eight different experts: a psychiatrist, a neuro psychologist, an eye witness identification expert, a social worker, a clinical social worker, a DNA investigator a molecular biologist and a neurologist.

Public defender Glenda Huddleston says, "There is no way to adequately defend Mr. Lee if I don't have these experts. If he is convicted, I will definitely use this as grounds for an appeal. That's unfortunate because then taxpayers and family members have to go through the expense and pain of a trial twice."

But prosecutor Chester Cedars argued not only are these experts unnecessary, but since the public defender's office now has access to $170,000 -- they don't need additional funds. Presiding Judge Paul Demahy agreed and turned down Lee's request for more money - citing Lee's attorneys never showed any proof of the family's medical track record.

"There is absolutely no reason to burden the public with all of these hired guns," said Cedars. "I wanted to have an articulated specifics about why the the defendant might have a mental defect. Today, I heard nothing."

Lee's attorneys aren't giving up. They're going to use some of the public defender's money to begin running tests on Lee and on the DNA evidence recovered from the victim Diane Alexander. They're hoping those test results will convince the judge to give them more funds.

Meanwhile, Judge Demahy has decided to first question potential jurors next Monday to see if he can find an impartial jury. Then he'll decide whether to grant a change of venue and whether to continue the May 3rd trial.

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