GEORGETOWN, Del. – A man accused in a deadly, two-state shooting rampage was trying to prevent space aliens from abducting his daughter, his attorney said Tuesday at the start of his murder trial.
Allison Lamont Norman, 27, was in the middle of a psychotic episode and believed he was protecting his 5-year-old daughter when he is accused of killing two people and wounding four others in Maryland and Delaware in April 2005, defense attorney Brendan O'Neill told jurors.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Norman in the slaying of Jamell Weston, 24, in Laurel, Del.
Norman also is accused in the shooting death of DaVondale M. "Pete" Peters, 28, in Salisbury, Md., but that charge and numerous others were dropped so the Delaware case could go forward. A Maryland prosecutor cited differences in the way the two states handle insanity pleas.
Both O'Neill and prosecutor Peggy Marshall told jurors that neither will dispute that Norman pulled the trigger.
"This case is not a whodunit ... the issue in this case is what was Mr. Norman's mental condition, what was his state of mind, when he did these things," O'Neill said.
O'Neill told jurors they would hear seemingly far-fetched testimony that Norman stuck his head in a toilet, drank his own urine and ate his own feces after being arrested.
He was trying to "prove his worthiness" to get his family back, O'Neill said.
Marshall said Norman's state of mind would be the key issue and urged jurors to keep their own minds open.
The attacks began in Laurel, where Weston and another man were shot at an apartment complex, and a third man was shot at a nearby shopping center.
Investigators say Norman, wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a handgun, then stole a car and drove about 13 miles to Salisbury, where he shot Peters, two other people and two dogs.
One of the Salisbury victims was left paralyzed and Peters was killed.