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Closing arguments set for Tuesday in the David Trebilcock murder trial
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - After nearly three hours of testimony by the last witness in the case, both sides rested Friday afternoon in the murder trial of David Trebilcock.
Trebilcock is accused of stabbing six year old Lauren Belius to death in Sherrill on the morning of July 19, 2011.
Belius is the daughter of Allison Belius, whom Trebilcock was living with at the time Belius was stabbed.
Trebilcock's defense attorney, Oneida County Public Defender Pat Marthage, is not denying Trebilcock stabbed the little girl in front of her twin sister, but is trying to clear him of murder charges by having him found not-guilty due to mental disease or defect.
On Friday, Marthage called his last witness, Dr. Lawrence Farago, a psychiatrist with the Central New York Psychiatric Center.
Marthage made it a point in court to say Dr. Farago was first hired by the prosecutions in this case, but then hired by his office after Dr. Farago released his 48 page report regarding the mental state of David Trebilcock.
Dr. Farago testified that in his expert view, he believes David Trebilcock suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and showed signs of the mental illness at least three weeks before the stabbing, as well as during the stabbing, and, long after the stabbing.
"He had a belief, initially, that he was a special Messenger from God and that he was doing God's work," Marthage said. "And from that perspective, those were the laws that he needed to follow and any laws under that did not apply."
Dr. Farago says that Trebilcock showed remorse by telling investigators he was sorry the stabbing had to be done in front of Lauren Belius' twin sister.
"He appeared to have regret that this took place in front of Lauren's twin sister, genuine regret, but because he was functioning under God's law, this is something he had to do as God's bidding to protect Jesus Christ that it's the right thing to do," Dr. Farago said.
Dr. Farago says that at some point two days before the stabbing, Trebilcock came to the conclusion, in his mind, that Lauren was the Anti-Christ and Trebilcock says he actually had to perform tests to prove it.
The doctor says that Trebilcock believed she was the Anti-Christ because in his mind, she could read his mind by touching him or touching certain objects, such as a karate item, which to him showed that she knew he was angry.
The doctor added that in interviews since the stabbing, Trebilcock referred to the six year old as either the Anti-Christ, 'The Beast', or 'It'.
Trebilcock placed a dresser in front of the twin girls' bedroom door the morning of the murder. Dr. Farago says it was because Trebilcock wanted time to pray, "so that he could make sure that he kills her in the proper way, the representation of the Anti-Christ is properly killed."
His final ruling regarding David Trebilcock's mental state, Dr. Farago testified, "as the direct result of his schizophrenic illness, he lacked the capacity to know or appreciate that the killing of Lauren Belius was wrong."
During cross examination of Dr. Farago, Oneida County Assistant District Attorney Dawn Catera-Lupi questioned him about why he didn't interview Lauren's twin sister of their mother.
Dr. Farago stated that he didn't want the two to go through the horror of this event yet another time. He also read their testimony to the authorities and, in his view, that testimony helped show Trebilcock was indeed mentally ill and showed signs of paranoid schizophrenia.
Closing arguments are set for Tuesday, February 14, because some New York State employees actually have Monday off as a floating holiday for President Lincoln's Birthday under their contract, even though President's Day is celebrated the following Monday.
Since David Trebilcock requested a bench trial, Judge Michael Dwyer will get the case after those closing arguments, and he alone will decide Trebilcock's fate.