Judge imposes deadline for decision on testimony in teen-ager's murder trial

August 30, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

Attorneys for a 16-year-old charged with murder have 10 days to decide whether they will use expert testimony to argue that he was mentally incapable of first-degree murder when he allegedly killed a 19-year-old rival in February.

Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. imposed the deadline yesterday on Brian Arthur Tate's defense attorneys because they have blocked prosecutors from the youth's medical records.

The court is likely to grant prosecutors access to the records if the boy's attorneys, George Lantzas and Joseph F. Devlin, use experts to argue that he was mentally incapable of intentionally murdering someone.

Eugene M. Whissel II, assistant state's attorney, said the Tate youth's medical records are necessary to allow state-hired therapists to complete a psychiatric evaluation prior to the trial Nov. 17.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that state prosecutors are entitled to examine a defendant and have access to his medical records if he uses a defense of impaired mental capacity.

To prove first-degree murder, prosecutors must show that the defendant's acts were "willful, deliberate, malicious and premeditated," Mr. Whissel said.

Defense attorneys could use psychiatric evaluations as evidence that the Tate youth was unable to commit a premeditated murder.

The youth's lawyers said two therapists have examined their client. One interviewed him about the crime and the other conducted the interview without knowledge of the offense.

"The conclusion is he's one sick boy," Mr. Lantzas said.

The 16-year-old Tate youth, a former quarterback at Broadneck Senior High School, has been charged in the death of Jerry L. Haines of Cape St. Claire.

According to investigators and charging documents, the Tate youth allegedly killed Mr. Haines because he was dating young Tate's former girlfriend.

Police say he ambushed Mr. Haines at about 11 p.m. Feb. 24 in front of the victim's home in the 100 block of Summit Avenue, stabbing Mr. Haines more than 20 times as he got out of his truck.

The Tate youth allegedly dragged the body into a nearby backyard and buried it under a pile of leaves.

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