Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Jury deliberations began today to determine whether a man who wounded two second-graders during a 2010 shooting rampage at a Carlsbad elementary school was legally insane at the time of the attack.
Brendan O'Rourke, 42, was convicted last week of seven counts each of premeditated attempted murder and assault with a firearm.
The defense has the burden to prove that O'Rourke was legally insane when he opened fire during lunch recess at Kelly Elementary School on Oct. 8, 2010.
Deputy Public Defender Dan Segura told jurors that delusions and a mental disease led the defendant to believe that his former employer, AIG Inc., and Illinois politicians were involved in a conspiracy to get back at him.
A number of psychiatrists testified that O'Rourke suffered from schizophrenia or a delusion disorder, or a combination of both, when he opened fire on the school grounds.
Among O'Rourke's mental illnesses is a "persecutory delusion" that someone is out to get him, his attorney said. The disease makes people "not in
touch with reality" and "believing things that simply weren't true," Segura told the jury.
But Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan said O'Rourke gave police conflicting statements on why he carried out the attack at the school.
Stephan suggested O'Rourke "lashed out" because he wasn't able to date "20-something" women, as he desired.
One psychiatrist testified that O'Rourke was delusional when he opened fire at the school but knew it was wrong, both legally and morally.
If the defendant is found sane, he faces 103 years to life in state prison. If the jury finds him insane, he could be sent to a state mental hospital.