The Defense Begins In The Laney Case - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

04/01/04 - Tyler

The Defense Begins In The Laney Case

  The defense began their arguments today in the murder trial of Deanna Laney. And for the second straight day, jurors got a chance to see and hear from Deanna Laney herself in taped interviews.
  Yesterday, the prosecution rested after putting on two psychiatrists who both testified that Laney did not know right from wrong at the time she killed her children. 
  Today; more testimony from psychiatrists, and more video of Deanna Laney to back up the defenses stance that Laney was insane when she committed these crimes. Lead Defense Attorney Buck Files opened his case this morning with Dr. Phillip Resnick, a psychiatrist who interviewed laney six days after she killed her boys. He showed video clips of his interview with Laney, in which Laney appeared calm and unemotional in explaining how she killed her children. What she is saying, is exactly what we heard her tell Dr. Dietz yesterday. The only difference is how she's saying it. Dr. Resnick explained it this way; "You have to understand that in her continuing psychotic belief, that she was following the Lord's will quite matter of fact, kind of just separated psychologically from all of the horror of it, and she's simply a woman on a divine mission, carrying out the Lord's will."
  Also today, references to her religion and how that may have had an affect on her. Dr. Resnick said he spoke with her pastor, Gary Bell about their Pentecostal religion. At one point Dr. Resnick said, he was trying to help separate what were dillusional thoughts and what were just typical parts of her religion. In particular, why she kept her interpretation a Bible passage on  "Mary pondering in her heart" to herself.  Dr. Resnick says Pastor Bell explained that was his interpretation of that Bible passage as well.
  The defense is expected to wrap up their case tomorrow. The jury could have the case in their hands by tomorrow evening.

Kevin Berns, reporting.

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