Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Murder by the book: Murder by Deception

Defense Witnesses

The most significant person to corroborate Winger's side of the story was the former wife of Roger Harrington, Tari Edwards. She described three separate incidents in which her husband had been threatening. Once he had even pointed a gun at her and implied he was going to kill her. However, she admitted, she had never known Harrington to have been violent with strangers, which indicated that his episodes were domestic in nature, inspired by stressors specific to their relationship, not by a break with reality.

Mark Winger
Mark Winger

In addition, a psychiatry professor based in Chicago, Dr. James Cavanaugh, actually used the word, "crazy" in his opinion of Harrington. He had never met Harrington, but like Dr. Bohlen had reviewed school, psychiatric and work records, along with statements from people acquainted with Harrington, to come to his conclusion. He thought a home invasion during a psychotic episode was consistent with what he found in the records, especially given the notion that he followed the command of a demon.

More important to the defense was the testimony of a blood spatter pattern expert who would rebut the prosecution's forensic experts. Before seeing what each specifically said, let's look at this approach in general.

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