Medical expert claims Verduzco is mentally ill
YAKIMA, Wash. - The defense attorney, Peter Mazzone, claims that Verduzco is mentally insane and the voices inside his head told him to shoot two women outside of a MoneyTree in Yakima back in 2016.
A neuropsychological expert, Dr. Breen, testified Wednesday that Verduzco does in fact have schizophrenia, and did have these symptoms during the time of the murders.
He performed an evaluation designed to find out when people are making up symptoms that don't exist, and found that Verduzco was not making up his mental illness. The prosecution did point out errors in the chart.
Dr. Breen also found medical records of Verduzco having family members that were diagnosed with schizophrenia, which he stated could be a factor when determining if someone is schizophrenic. They referred to his cousin Omar who now lives in Mexico, and prosecutors question his symptoms because he was using meth.
Prosecutor Michael Ellis asked if drug use could have anything to do with psychosis.
"Absolutely," Dr. Breen replied.
"Including drugs like methamphetamine?"
"Yes," said Dr. Breen.
In a report Verduzco told Dr. Breen that the pressures were too much and that he had to kill Karina Morales-Rodrigues and Marta Martinez, and was debating on ending his own life.
"Is it accurate the defendant also told you that the voices were telling him to kill himself after killing Karina?" Ellis asked.
"Yes," Dr. Breen replied.
"So he obviously could resist?"
"Well he did not kill himself, correct," said Dr. Breen.
Dr. Breen claimed that people with schizophrenia can't control when they hear the voices, and that it's an illness that an average person doesn't fully understand. The state saying that what he did wasn't because of voices.