Doctor explains Tasheonia Hills' behavior in murder trial

A psychologist testified for the defense in the murder trial of Tasheonia Hills on Tuesday in Oneida County Court.

Posted: Dec 11, 2018 6:33 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2018 6:52 PM

UTICA, NY-- A psychologist testified for the defense in the murder trial of Tasheonia Hills on Tuesday in Oneida County Court.

Hills is the 26-year-old Utica woman who is charged with murdering her mother 44-year-old Irene Williams at the Humphrey Garden Apartments on February 6 2017.

The defense called Dr. Laura McCord, a licensed psychologist at the Central New York Psychiatric Center. She evaluated Hills by reviewing records, police documents, statements, observations and interviews. She explained that she noticed Hills had delusional thoughts, she acted irrational and had bizarre religious beliefs.

She said days before the murder when Hills refused to drive home for five hours after checking on her sister, Hills interpreted the situation wrong. McCord said Hills recalled depriving her sister of oxygen, which did not happen. McCord said HIlls also acted irrationally at different times of the day, because Hills believed the night time was the devil's time and the day time was God's time. McCord also mentioned that at various times Hills did not notice pain, whether she was outside barefoot in the snow, after drinking bleach or after she had injuries following the death of her mother. McCord said Hills showed signs of psychosis prior to and months after the murder.

On cross examination the prosecution asked the McCord if she interviewed anyone else in Hills' life, she said she did not. The prosecution asked how she determines if a patient is faking their symptoms. McCord said she determined if a patient was faking their symptoms by watching if the patient refused to be evaluated or participate in exams about their behavior. The prosecution then mentioned several reports that showed Hills did refuse to participate in written exams and answer questions.

The prosecution can call upon its own experts for a rebuttal, after the defense is done with its witnesses.

Testimony continues tomorrow at 10 a.m.

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