For Treacy's insanity defense to succeed, experts say it's crucial that jurors are convinced he had been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder for some time after his brother's suicide. In pretrial hearings, a defense expert has testified Treacy likely was in period of detachment during which he didn't know what he was doing. Those periods can last for hours or days, the expert said.
In a taped jailhouse phone call with his mother, Treacy says he is angry at his brother because the suicide messed up his head.
"If it wasn't for (unclear), I'd be just as normal as I ever was and this would never have happened," Treacy says, according to a transcript.
The prosecution's job is easier, said Nova Southeastern University law professor Robert Jarvis.
"The state has to keep reminding the jury that the defendant is (an attempted) killer," he said. "In the end, I think the defense fails in this case because lots of people lose a loved one and still function without engaging in a crime and jurors know that."
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