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THE ORLANDO SENTINEL
October 11, 1997
Author: By Ludmilla Lelis of The Sentinel Staff
Corey McCutcheon’s attorney tried Friday to bolster his argument that the DeLand man was under the influence of alcohol and drugs when he stabbed Jimmy Deland to death.
Assistant Public Defender Larry Henderson presented three witnesses before resting his case in the first-degree murder trial.
McCutcheon, 21, is accused of stabbing the 49-year-old Deland more than 100 times with two screwdrivers on Oct. 17, 1995. Assistant State Attorneys Ed Davis and Raul Zambrano are seeking the death penalty.
Henderson and the prosecutors will present their closing arguments Monday to the 12 jurors.
Deland’s nude body was found in his U.S. Highway 92 home with two screwdrivers still embedded in his neck. During a videotaped statement, McCutcheon confessed to the crime but told Volusia County sheriff’s investigators, ”I didn’t mean it.”
In Friday’s testimony, McCutcheon’s former girlfriend, Rebecca Morn, said he was acting strangely on the night that Deland was killed.
”His pupils were dilated, and his eyes were glazed, which are usually a warning sign that someone is in an altered state of mind,” Morn testified. ”It wasn’t how he normally acted around me.”
Other witnesses have said that McCutcheon was drinking that night, although no one could say exactly how much he had.
During his taped confession, McCutcheon said he took various prescription drugs that night, including the antidepressant Prozac and the antianxiety medication Xanax, along with beer.
McCutcheon’s former landlady, Bridget Mack, testified Friday that she kept various pills in her home. However, Mack said she received the pills from a friend who told her it was Prozac and Xanax. She admitted that the drugs, kept in a plastic sandwich bag, weren’t prescribed for her.
Mack also said other adults at her house knew the pills were there, but it was unclear whether McCutcheon, who rented a room from her, had taken any of her pills.
She also testified she recognized the screwdrivers that were found in Deland’s neck.
When deputies showed her the tools, she told them she recognized the various nicks and indentations on the handles.
After Deland’s body was found, she also discovered the screwdrivers were missing and that the pail where she kept them had been overturned.
Copyright 1997 Sentinel Communications Co.