In the murder trial of abortion clinic gunman John Salvi, the defense called its last witness Monday (3-11) and was expected to finish presenting evidence Tuesday. Before the case ends, prosecutors will likely call mental health experts to rebut the defense’s claim that Salvi was insane at the time of the killings. Dr. David Bear of U-Mass Medical School in Worcester was the last of 29 witnesses called by the defense. Bear testified that he believed Salvi to be a paranoid schizophrenic, but prosecutor Marianne Hinkle called his judgment informed speculation.” Norfolk County prosecutors are expected to call mental health experts to dismiss the claims of insanity and to place Salvi with criminal responsibility for his actions.
If convicted, Salvi would face life in prison. If acquitted by reason of insanity, the avowed murderer would be sent to a mental hospital but could be released if he was later declared sane.
Media Resources: The San Francisco Chronicle - March 11, 1996; The Washington Post - March 11, 1996