ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — The Capital Gazette gunman appeared in court again on Wednesday.
Since the gunman’s guilty plea in October, Judge Laura Ripken has ruled in favor of motions filed by both teams.
Wednesday into Thursday, perhaps the biggest decision is in front of her on whether the state went about getting the gunman’s psychiatric evaluation legally.
Public defenders for the convicted Capital Gazette gunman argued in court Wednesday, prosecutors violated several constitutional rights in acquiring a psychiatric evaluation.
The gunman pleaded guilty last year to the June 2018 attack in Annapolis, killing Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiassen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters.
Defense attorneys argue the gunman is not “criminally responsible” for the murders, it’s Maryland’s version of an insanity defense.
The defense team said their client’s jail cell at the Jennifer Road Detention Center was searched without his or his counsel’s consent and questioned the warden on access given to the state’s expert witness.
Anne Arundel County prosecutors call the motions “a fishing expedition,” one of which calls for portions of a psychiatric evaluation to be suppressed.
That state witness- a psychiatrist- interviewed 35 people last year in his report alleging the shooter is fit to stand a criminal responsibility portion of the trial, which is currently set to be decided by a jury in December.
The motions hearings continue into Thursday. The courtroom is limited to a 24 person capacity with plastic barriers placed throughout.