By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Doctors: Lakemper antisocial
Closing statements Wednesday
Placeholder Image

Attorneys spent much of Monday and Tuesday questioning forensic psychiatrists as to whether Cobey Wade Lakemper was mentally ill during his 2005 crime spree as he's claimed.

Testimony on Monday from Matthew Norman, a forensic psychiatrist, was in rebuttal to testimony from a doctor Lakemper’s defense attorneys put on the stand. While the defense team’s doctor claimed Lakemper suffered from various mental illnesses when he shot Wendy Cartledge-Carter, including bipolar II disorder and post traumatic stress disorder, Norman diagnosed Lakemper with antisocial personality disorder, saying he was not mentally ill.

doctor and then allowed the prosecution and the defense to question the doctor, a process that lasted from roughly 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the state rested its case.

Tuesday went much the same as Monday, with the court’s expert, Don Hughey, taking the stand. Superior Court Judge Samuel Ozburn explained to jurors that when the defendant’s mental condition is an issue, the court is required to have its own  psychologist examine them.

On Monday, Norman implied that Lakemper had been schooled in some way on the criteria needed to meet the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II. He did say Lakemper likely suffered from polysubstance dependence and although he did not classify him as suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder, he said that could change depending on if there was more proof of it.

Although a person has to only meet three indicators to be diagnosed with antisocial personality disorder, Lakemper met all seven of the indicators, according to the doctor, including a lack of remorse, reckless disregard for safety, deceitfulness and failure to conform to social norms. He also said that Lakemper had been diagnosed as a child with adolescent antisocial behavior, and called Lakemper's behavior "fairly severe."

"Personality disorders are a pattern of behavior and by the age of 18 are fixed and will likely carry with that person for the rest of their life," Norman said.

Hughey said that Lakemper described to him a childhood fraught with chaos. He also noted that Lakemper had twice been diagnosed with adolescent antisocial behavior.

"These are early warning signs of someone who may develop antisocial personality disorder as an adult," Hughey said.

Hughey agreed with Norman's diagnosis of polysubstance dependency and antisocial personality disorder, saying "that is someone who lacks empathy, if you will."

Norman also told the jury that during a nearly five-hour meeting earlier in the month, Lakemper was polite and pleasant and he left the meeting thinking he was "a pretty nice guy." However, after reviewing the 14 audiotapes of Lakemper's phone conversations with his mother from the North Carolina jail, Norman said he then wondered if Lakemper had been kind to him in the hope that he would diagnosis him how he wanted and potentially benefit him in the case.

According to the doctor, Lakemper was able to distinguish right from wrong when the crimes were committed; making his assertion that he was guilty but mentally ill invalid.

The jury also heard from Lakemper earlier Monday, when District Attorney Layla Zon brought up a blackmail attempt by Lakemper while he has been in the Newton County jail, in hopes of squashing Lakemper's claim that he has changed in the last two years.

Lakemper admitted under oath that he had a relationship of sorts with a female guard at the jail and that when he found out she was no longer interested in him, he blackmailed her using sexually explicit letters she had sent him as proof. He told her that he wanted her to send his mother $300 and a $300 gift card so that his oldest son could buy school supplies and clothes.

Zon rested her case at 4:03 p.m. Tuesday. Closing arguments will begin today.