Oregon murder defendant plans insanity defense
Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 11:32 pm | No Comments Posted Font Size:
An Army veteran charged with murder in the fatal shooting of his neighbor has filed notice that he'll rely on an insanity defense. Jarrod William Pardun also says in that filing that he didn't intend to kill 59-year-old Stephen Thurston last July 18.
Pardun's trial on murder and other charges is set to begin March 30 in Eugene before Lane County Circuit Judge Maurice Merten. The judge has ordered the 29-year-old to submit to an examination next week by a prosecution psychologist.
Thurston died from a shotgun blast shortly after confronting Pardun about his driving in front of Thurston's Creswell-area home.
Pardun told investigators the day of the shooting that he was under treatment for extreme post-traumatic stress disorder related to his Army service five years earlier.
Thurston was a fellow veteran who had also battled PTSD following his service in the Vietnam War. Thurston later spent his career counseling troubled former soldiers at the same Eugene clinic where Pardun received medical and psychiatric care.
Pardun called 911 to report the shooting, telling detectives he went home to get his shotgun after Thurston threatened him.
Thurston was in front of his house, assembling a toy for his 3-year-old daughter, when Pardun returned in his Cadillac and fatally wounded him, Thurston's wife told investigators.
Pardun's defense lawyer Robert Schrank has also filed notice of intent to introduce expert testimony that Pardun suffers from extreme mental and emotional disturbance.
Pardun's sister told The Register-Guard last summer that her brother never saw combat in Iraq or Afghanistan, but was traumatized by video images of a mortar attack on a helicopter that killed members of his brigade while he was recovering from an injury in the United States.
Police executing a search warrant at Pardun's home seized his medical marijuana card, eight mature marijuana plants and a variety of prescription drugs and containers labeled with Pardun's name. Among them were a narcotic pain medication, an antidepressant, an anti-anxiety drug and a sleep aid. They also seized books and pamphlets on PTSD and the Iraq war.
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com
Posted in State-and-regional on Tuesday, March 2, 2010 11:32 pm Updated: 6:01 am. | Tags:
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