Psychiatrist on Chad DeSoto: "He's crazy" - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Psychiatrist on Chad DeSoto: "He's crazy"

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 by Krystal Paco

Guam - Was Chad DeSoto insane when he went on his rampage through Tumon last year?

The debate rages on as a third expert witness takes the stand this morning.

Although he's been a forensic psychiatrist for over forty years, Dr. Martin Blinder has never seen a case quite like DeSoto's.

"Mr. Desoto suffered one of the most severe depressions that I have experienced in my long professional life and his depression unfortunately fell into that minority category of individuals who are so despairing and so emotionally deranged that it begins to affect the clarity of their thinking and they reach a point, which he did where they don't see and hear the same things the rest of us do," he said.

Dr. Blinder practices in Hawaii and California and was called by defense attorney Eric Miller to conduct an evaluation of DeSoto last July.

In addition to meeting DeSoto on a single occasion, Dr. Blinder was able to use a narrative provided by DeSoto's girlfriend Raenne Acasio, police reports, and reports from psychiatrist Dr. Michael Kim and Department of Correction's clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Leitheiser before he diagnosed DeSoto with psychotic depression.

"And that leaves us with only one possible explanation: he's crazy. He's crazy. That's a lay term for his inability to not know at least the quality and the wrongfulness of his homicidal acts," said Blinder. "From a purely clinical perspective there is no possible alternative explanation that I can come up with to explain why he did what he did except that he was operating, he was driven by psychosis and this psychosis drove out the good parts of him the parts that would know this is not acceptable."

Dr. Blinder says DeSoto's depression worsened when his grandfather passed away and girlfriend relocated to the states. Although Dr. Blinder credits Acasio's efforts to console DeSoto from her new home in Utah, it just wasn't enough. DeSoto reportedly stopped sleeping, stopped eating, and lost thirty pounds.

"As he began to spiral down, she had to deal with his increasingly psychotic thinking and try to counter-balance that. She's not a psychiatrist, but she tried in affect to provide him therapy," he said. "He was talking about a relationship with the devil. Voices telling him to give away or bury his belongings. He had to become a monster. He heard voices telling him to kill his family. Many words wrapped in religious terms. Psychotic perversion of The Bible."

"You have a picture of a man who is beginning to drown in his own psychotic thinking. In his jumble of thoughts he begins to think about damnation that he is damned. That he has to kill that he has to engage in these terrible acts and any hope he may have come from carrying out the tasks of these voices."

On Monday, Guam-based psychiatrist Dr. Michael Kim testified that DeSoto was legally sane during his rampage through Tumon.

Just yesterday, Colorado criminal forensic psychiatrist Dr. Karen Fukutaki testified that she diagnosed DeSoto with depression in addition to showing psychotic symptoms. She noted that DeSoto did not understand what he was doing at the time nor did he understand that it was wrongful.

During cross examinations today, Dr. Blinder noted that psychotic premeditation is also possible, which could explain the knives DeSoto had with him in his car that night.

Following his testimony, defense rested its case. Although the defendant's father, Chris DeSoto was slated to take the stand, defense opted out of calling him to testify.

Trial continues tomorrow with prosecution anticipated to call on rebuttal witnesses.

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