MEDIA, Pa. -- John du Pont, the mentally disturbed heir to a chemical fortune, received a 13- to 30-year sentence yesterday for killing David Schultz, an Olympic wrestler who lived at du Pont's training center in suburban Philadelphia.
Judge Patricia Jenkins of Delaware County Common Pleas Court ruled that during his incarceration du Pont, 58, would be treated for the paranoid delusions that fueled his violent outburst.
How much of the sentence will be spent in prison and how much in a mental hospital will be decided by corrections officials.
After hearing three weeks of testimony about du Pont's bizarre behavior, including his delusions of being the Dalai Lama and a spy for the CIA, jurors decided Feb. 25 that du Pont was guilty of third-degree murder but was mentally ill when he killed Schultz with three bullets from a .44-caliber revolver.
At a hearing yesterday, prosecution and defense psychiatrists agreed that du Pont's mental health was significantly improved after eight months of treatment at Norristown State Hospital, but they clashed over whether du Pont was fit for imprisonment.
For courtroom spectators, the most striking change in du Pont was his appearance.
Clean-shaven and hair trimmed, du Pont, whose fortune is placed at more than $250 million, bore little resemblance to the wild-haired man with the long gray beard who during his trial in February stared vaguely around the courtroom.
Dr. John O'Brien, a psychiatrist called by the prosecution, said that since hospital records showed that du Pont had responded well to anti-psychotic drugs and therapy, he could continue treatment in prison.
But Dr. Gerald Cooke and Dr. William Carpenter, psychiatrists testifying on du Pont's behalf, said that locking du Pont in a cell could cause him to revert to violent, delusional behavior.
"Currently he suffers from schizophrenia, paranoid type, which is now in a partial, but tenuous, remission," said Cooke. Should du Pont suffer stress or stop taking his medication, said Cooke, "he would pose a potential danger to himself and others."
Schultz's widow, Nancy, had asked for a lengthy sentence. "Every day, my children ask me, 'Will he get out and hurt us?' . .TC Schultz said yesterday. "I want to be able to tell them he'll never be free."
Pub Date: 5/14/97