SKOWHEGAN (AP) – Two mental health expects testified at a Portland man’s murder trial that he was actively psychotic when he fatally shot a cab driver in Pittsfield last February.

Derek-Finn Wilhelmsen has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity in the death of Nunzi Mancini, a 38-year-old Portland cab driver.

At an evaluation three days after the slaying, Wilhelmsen exhibited delusions and hallucinations, classic symptoms of schizophrenia, clinical psychologist Charles Robinson testified on Tuesday.

Wilhelmsen, 23, thought of killing others and himself, talked about liking to touch and talk to his pistol, and saw prominent Nazis, Robinson said.

Police say that Wilhelmsen was upset over a recent breakup with Amy Towle when he took Mancini’s cab to Pittsfield, intending to kill her. Instead, he shot Mancini after the cab driver used a vulgar expression in reference to Towle.

Wilhelmsen, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia in his late teens, has a long history of mental illness marked by paranoia and violent fantasies, experts testified in Somerset County Superior Court.

Diane Schetky, a forensic psychiatrist, said that Wilhelmsen heard voices telling him to get Towle out of his life.

A few months before the killing, Wilhelmsen stopped taking anti-psychotic medication and had almost no treatment or supervision, Schetky testified. By the time of the crime, the voices were “almost a constant chatter,” she said.

Also on Tuesday, Superior Court Justice Nancy Mills watched a two-hour videotape of state police detectives interviewing Wilhelmsen just hours after the shooting.

On the tape, Wilhelmsen told detectives the voices were always in his head and that he had thought of getting rid of everybody.

Lesley Wilhelmsen, the defendant’s mother, testified that her son often thought people were following him. Wilhelmsen told his mother he heard voices and sometimes talked to them.

The case is being tried without a jury, leaving Mills to rule on Wilhelmsen’s guilt or innocence.

AP-ES-05-14-03 0216EDT



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