JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (AP) - The murder trial of a southern Indiana man who police say confessed to stabbing his estranged wife has been postponed after his attorney raised questions about the objectivity of a court-appointed psychiatrist who determined he was sane.
Edward Dale Bagshaw, 47, is on trial in a Clark County court for the November 2011 slaying of 30-year-old Kelly Bagshaw in a parking lot outside his Jeffersonville apartment. Prosecutors say Bagshaw used a pocketknife to stab his 30-year-old wife dozens of times inside her car after she came to pick up their two young children.
Bagshaw is using an insanity defense, but none of the three court-appointed mental health experts who examined Bagshaw believed he was insane, The Courier-Journal of nearly Louisville, Ky., reports.
One of the experts, psychiatrist Dr. Steven Shelton, testified Wednesday that he determined Bagshaw was depressed but not insane. Another psychiatrist said Bagshaw likely had dissociative amnesia, a mental disorder where someone can't recall traumatic events.
Under questioning by Bagshaw's attorney, Perry McCall, Shelton acknowledged that he had treated Bagshaw in jail about a week before he performed the court-ordered mental evaluation. Shelton has a contract to treat inmates the Clark County Jail. Some of Shelton's initial findings were included in his final report to the court.
McCall objected to Shelton's testimony, claiming the evaluation was not an independent assessment if it was performed by someone who had prior knowledge.
Shelton said he sees how it "could be perceived as a conflict of interest," but said he remained impartial.
But Chief Deputy Prosecutor Jeremy Mull argued that Shelton's findings have been available for more than a year. McCall said he didn't learn of the possibility of a conflict of interest until Tuesday, when one of the other doctors brought it to his attention.
The trial was recessed until Friday while the court looks for another psychiatrist to evaluate Bagshaw.
"We are, after all, trying to get a true sense of his mental status. ... This is a truth-finding process," Mull said.
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