FAIRFAX, Va. – Lawyers for a man accused of killing three residents in Alexandria, Virginia, over a 10-year span say they are not going to make an insanity defense — despite a history of bizarre behavior that includes lunging at a congressman with a flagpole, seeking asylum in Russia and demanding to wear a kilt in court.
Thursday was the deadline for Charles Severance's lawyers to notify prosecutors of an insanity defense before his October murder trial.
In court papers, the lawyers say they instead want the jury to hear testimony that he suffers from a form of schizophrenia. The lawyers say the testimony would not prove Severance's insanity but would help explain some of his erratic behavior.
Prosecutors oppose the proposed testimony, calling it an "insanity-lite" defense. They say it would allow Severance to bypass certain legal requirements.