The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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March 4, 2014

UPDATE: Doctor's tests show Lambert “has a propensity, without warning, to blow up”

Jeremy James Lambert’s trial for the murder of Cyan Maroney continued Tuesday as the defense called its fourth witness, Dr. Lawson Bernstein Jr., to discuss Lambert’s medical conditions.

Lambert is accused of fatally stabbing Maroney, 25, on Oct. 2, 2011, but the defense is arguing his actions were caused by post traumatic stress disorder, a mood disorder and a mixed personality disorder.

Defense co-counsel Mary Dyer asked Bernstein to review his educational and employment background, as well as give the jury definitions of certain psychological terms.

Dyer and Bernstein also disclosed to the jury that Bernstein is being paid over $30,000 to provide his expertise during this trial.

“Obviously I’m being paid a lot of money for this case,” Bernstein said. “But I call them as I see them.”

He said he has been required to travel a great deal to and from Pittsburgh for this case, which is part of his fee.

Bernstein said he ordered an MRI and EEG scan to examine Lambert’s brain activity, but both of those exams yielded normal results.

His psychological testing, however, showed that Lambert suffers from PTSD, mood disorders, mixed personality disorders and alcohol dependency, according to Bernstein.

Dyer asked him if these disorders would allow someone to have the intention to kill someone.

These disorders, aside from the alcohol dependency, “negated his capacity to form homicidal intent,” Bernstein told the jurors.

He said Lambert’s psychological testing showed he “has a propensity, without much warning, to blow up.”

Bernstein described a PTSD sufferer as someone who experiences trauma, sees someone experience trauma or has the impending threat of trauma.

Dyer asked why certain members of the military suffer from PTSD, but others do not; Bernstein replied, “We all bring different risk factors to our life events.”

Bernstein said that PTSD sufferers are often prone to impulsive behaviors, to which Dyer asked, “Is an impulsive behavior an unplanned behavior?”

“Yes,” Bernstein answered.

The jury was dismissed for lunch at noon and will return at 1 p.m. for the afternoon session. 

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