Last day of testimony in Patterson trial

By WKTV News

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The last day of testimony got underway Wednesday in Oneida County Court in Utica for the murder trial of Christian Patterson - the man accused of shooting and killing Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Kurt Wyman following a six-hour standoff in the Town of Augusta in June 2011.

A forensic psychiatrist named Dr. Norman Lesswing, took the witness stand Wednesday morning as a witness for the defense.

Dr. Lesswing charges $250 an hour and says he was paid roughly $8,000 to examine and evaluate Patterson. The Oneida County Public Defender's Office is representing Patterson and hired Dr. Lesswing.

Dr. Lesswing then testified about the events of the day of June 6, 2011. The doctor said Patterson and his longtime girlfriend had a fight that day. Lesswing says Patterson felt hopeless, desperate and suicidal that day.

As for why Patterson loaded the gun with so many bullets if he only wanted to kill himself, Lesswing says Patterson told him it was a habitual pattern stemming from when he would go hunting.

Dr. Lesswing says Patterson thought he was dying after being fired upon by deputies with non-lethal, foam bullets.

During his testimony, Lesswing says that Patterson's firing of his shotgun after that was "automatic and involuntary". Lesswing called it a "fight or flight" response. He said this is an automatic and adaptive response in order to survive an emergency situation when your life is at risk.

Dr. Lesswing says that, in examining Christian Patterson, he did find evidence to support a defense of "extreme emotional disturbance" in this case.

Prosecution witness Dr. Lawrence Farago took the stand, refuting his counterpart's findings. Farago says Christian Patterson was not exhibiting symptoms of extreme emotional disturbance the day of Deputy Kurt Wyman's murder. The prosecution expert says Patterson was not suicidal that day, just plain angry.

"There weren't any thoughts that 'I need to do something to protect myself, I hope they kill me because I want to die', those were the elements of things that I was looking for that I would expect for someone to have extreme emotional distress and all of that was absent," says Dr. Lawrence Farago, who also testified that Patterson blamed his girlfriend and police for the events of June 6; his girlfriend for the stress she'd brought into his life and police for 'jumping the gun'.

"But other than just mentioning the fact that he was there, he never placed any personal responsibility on himself or how his interactions could have somehow played a role."

Jurors will hear closing arguments from both attorneys at 8:30 Thursday morning. Then, the judge will give brief instructions and they will begin their deliberations.

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