Berry’s mother offers testimony: Recalls son as teen troubled by various mental problems — (

SSRI Ed note: Man on "powerful drugs including lithium, Paxil and Dexedrine" stabs 16-yr-old girl to death, mental illness & retardation blamed. Gets death sentence.

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By Ken Little, Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2004 at 12:30 a.m.

Kyle Berry was taken to at least 17 doctors during his teenage years and placed in a succession of schools, his mother said Tuesday.

Along the way, Mr. Berry was diagnosed as being bipolar, having attention deficit disorder and was prescribed a variety of powerful drugs that included lithium, Paxil and Dexedrine, Nancy Berry testified during her son’s re-sentencing hearing in New Hanover Superior Court.

Through testimony Tuesday, defense lawyers sought to put a human face on the troubled life of Mr. Berry, who was convicted in 2001 of first-degree murder in the November 1998 beating and stabbing death of 16-year-old Theresa Fetter.

A jury will decide this week if Mr. Berry will be sentenced for the second time to die or spend life in prison without parole.

The hearing was prompted by an appeal involving sentencing instructions during the 2001 trial.

Miss Fetter’s stabbed and beaten body was found behind a day care center in a wooded area east of College Road at South 17th Street.

Prosecution testimony shows three men beat Miss Fetter to death with metal pipes while Mr. Berry stabbed her repeatedly in the head and hands before leaving the teenager’s body under a pile of pine straw.

The three men – Bobby Autry, Jon Malonee and Josh Whitney, are all serving prison terms ranging from 16 to 32 years for their part in the killing.

Much of the same evidence from the first trial has been presented by the prosecution and defense during three days of testimony. During the 2001 trial, defense lawyers introduced evidence that Mr. Berry was mentally ill, retarded, suffered from a head injury and was abused as a child.


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Source: North Carolina Commission on Capital Cases