WOBURN -- A third specialist testified today that John Odgren was legally insane when he fatally stabbed a fellow student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School three years ago.
Montgomery Brower, a forensic psychologist specializing in the examination of patients involved in criminal matters, said in Middlesex Superior Court that Odgren, now 19, suffered from a lifetime of struggles with mental disorders and the bullying that came with them, to the point he was in a state of paranoia the day of the murder.
Like two other specialists before him, Brower said that Odgren’s paranoia forced him into his own fantasy world, and that he started to act out the stories he read about in thriller novels.
Odgren faces life in prison for first-degree murder in the Jan. 19, 2007 killing of 15-year-old James Alenson, a freshman whom he had never met. His defense claims that Odgren was insane at the time.
Brower testified that Odgren suffered from a mental illness or defect that caused him to lack the ability to understand the consequences of what he was doing, or to control himself.
“He was in a paranoid state where he had effectively, certainly for that period of time, lost the ability to distinguish between fantasy and the real world,” said Brower, who was hired by the defense, with court approval, to examine Odgren.
“His ability to appreciate wrongfulness was substantially impaired at the time.”
Prosecutors are slated to continue a cross-examination of Brower on Monday. Closing arguments could come as soon as Tuesday.
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