NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Is he sick or insane? That’s the key issue in the trial of a man accused of killing a doctor with a meat cleaver.
As CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey reported Thursday, jurors got their first look at the defendant’s confession as he spoke with police.
David Tarloff was interrogated in the days after the murder of a psychologist. He talked with police with little concern, even ordering a sandwich.
The rambling confession was shown to the jury in a trial where Tarloff’s mental state is the central issue. The schizophrenic is accused of going to an Upper east Side apartment building in February of 2008 and killing Dr. Kathryn Faughey with a meat cleaver and a hammer.
“I would never hurt anybody. The only reason I killed roaches was because they crawl on you,” Tarloff told investigators.
But Faughey was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Tarloff’s target was a doctor who treated him 17 years earlier.
“I thought he was rich so I could go there, get his money. I was going to leave him there,” Tarloff said.
Defense lawyers said God encouraged Tarloff, which is one of the reasons for their use of the insanity defense.
“His goal and purpose was to rescue his mother, obtain $40,000 to $50,000 from an ATM machine, which everybody knows you can’t do, rescue his mother from a nursing home, fly her off to a villa in Hawaii, and nurse her back to health,” attorney Bryan Konoski said.
Prosecutors are trying to paint Tarloff not only as someone who couldn’t deal with not getting his way, but also as a man who was clear headed the night of the murder.
Faughey’s brother and other family members have been sitting through the trial, but not buying what the defense has tried to sell.
“It’s very difficult,” said Owen Faughey, the victim’s brother. “He went through the building. We saw him on video earlier going in to check everything out, plan an exit. I don’t call this the act of an insane person.”
At the very least, it’s the act of an accused murderer. Criminal responsibility remains to be seen.
Defense attorneys said at this point they don’t plan on calling their client to the stand, but they said that could change.
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