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Criminal Law Keyed to Gershowitz
McCulloch v. Commonwealth
Citation:29 Va. App. 769, 514 S.E.2d 797.
The defendant’s wife entered a grocery store bleeding from a stab wound. Just as she entered, two customers saw a man run past the front of the store. They chased him and saw him holding a knife. The two followed the man, who turned out to be the defendant, to his home. He admitted to them that he stabbed his wife.
The defendant filed an insanity defense motion. He was indigent, and the sent him to the Central State Hospital for the evaluation and a psychologist performed the evaluation. The doctor found him sane at the time of the offense.
On the day before the trial, the defendant moved for appointment of a psychiatrist to determine sanity. The trial court ruled that the psychologist had satisfied all legal requirements and that the defendant was not entitled to another court-appointed expert. The trial court found that the defendant offered no more than a possibility that a second opinion would reveal anything different. The trial court denied the motion but emphasized that it would reconsider its ruling at any time the defendant presented a factual basis indicating by more than a mere possibility that a second opinion would assist the defense. The trial court also did not permit the defendant to introduce lay witness testimony about his sanity at the time of the offense, including friends and jail inmates.
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