BECKER TRIAL: Defense rests - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

BECKER TRIAL: Defense rests

ALLISON (KWWL) -- On Monday, the defense brought in a psychiatrist from Cleveland, Ohio, who testified that Mark Becker fit the state's definition of insane.

Becker is charged with first degree murder in the shooting death of Aplington-Parkersburg teach and coach Ed Thomas. Becker pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

The psychiatrist, Dr. Phillip Resnick, has taken the stand in several high profile cases including the Oklahoma City bombing, the Unabomber trial and Andrea Yates trial.

Resnick testified Becker meets the criteria for legal insanity in Iowa, which includes a person not knowing the difference between right and wrong and not knowing the nature and quality of their acts.

Resnick said Becker's extensive psychiatric history, his account of the crime, and the video tape following Becker's arrest led him to that conclusion. Resnick said Becker did not believe he was hurting a person when he shot Thomas, but was instead saving children by killing the devil.

"You do not know the nature and quality of your acts, you don't know that you're taking a human life if you believe that you are killing Satan," Resnick said.

In cross examination, the prosecution brought up that immediately following the shooting, Becker called Thomas, "old man," and also used Thomas' name.

The psychiatrist also testified that despite any planning before a crime, or rational decisions made while carrying out the crime, a person may still be acting on irrational thoughts or delusions.

"It's common for jurors to have the idea that if someone is capable of planning a crime, then they could not be legally insane, but that's simply not accurate," Resnick testified.

The defense rested on Tuesday afternoon. The prosecution began its rebuttal by calling a forensic psychiatrist from Baltimore, Maryland.

You can follow KWWL's Jamie Grey for live updates from the courthouse or watch live streaming video on our trial coverage page.

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