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2 doctors, 2 opinions in Tasheonia Hills murder trial

The defense has rested its case in the Tasheonia Hills murder trial.

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 7:11 PM
Updated: Dec 13, 2018 6:26 PM

UTICA, N.Y. -- The defense has rested its case in the Tasheonia Hills murder trial.

Hills is accused of stabbing her mother to death at the Humphrey Gardens Apartments in Utica on February 6, 2017.

The defense and the prosecution each called their own forensic psychologists to testify.

The defense called Dr. Norman Lesswing, a clinical and forensic psychologist, to testify. Lesswing said he evaluated Hills by reviewing police reports recorded interviews with police, hospital records, educational records and interviewing hills. He also interviewed her father and her brother. Lesswing said based on those records he found Hills was suffering from a psychosis before and after the death of her mother. He explained that Hills became fixated on being an earth angel, she was hearing voices and she thought her mother and father were demons she had to battle to survive.

He said she also believed a candle was guiding her to stab her mother. Lesswing mentioned that the stab wounds were too numerous to count and the police recorded video were both significant factors in determining her mental state at the time of the murder.

The prosecution called on their own forensic psychologist, Dr. Alexander Bardey. He said he also evaluated Hills by collecting and reviewing similar records, but he doesn't believe Hills suffered from a psychosis. He mentioned a hospital report from 2009, when Hills took five ibuprofen in an attempt to kill herself. He said she later told hospital staff she knew what the pills wouldn't kill her, but she was angry with her mother.

The prosecution played a record phone call between Hills and her brother, Shawn Hills, days before the murder. In the recorded call Hills can he heard telling her brother she is upset with her dad because he knew she was a stripper to support herself in school and he didn't help to take her out of that situation.

Bardey said that shows Hills was not talking about bizarre religious beliefs before the murder, she was talking about how angry she was with her parents.

Court continues at 10 a.m. Thursday.

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