One of the key witnesses for the defense team in convicted College Station murderer Stanley Robertson's trial continued his testimony Thursday.
It's a day that started tougher than it already was for the 45-year-old. He found out his mother had passed away in Alabama prior to the proceedings.
Thursday morning, Vanderbilt psychology professor Dan Reschly was the only person to take the stand, and continued to tell jurors how he has found Robertson to be mildly mentally retarded.
Reschly ran through a litany of findings from tests he's conducted recently on Robertson: the defendant's inability to handle money, struggles with telling time and staying on time, and difficulties with simple math among them.
Robertson's IQ is also a factor, and low scores plus problems with adaptive behavior (day-to-day functioning in life) must be shown prior to the age of 18. Reschly's review of Robertson's academics shows, in the psychologist's mind, that Robertson is mentally retarded.
A set of IQ tests were also brought into the equation, one conducted on behalf of the defense by a different psychologist but interpreted by Reschly, and one done by Dr. Tim Proctor for the prosecution. The defense test done in 2011 scored Robertson at a 71. Proctor's from 2013 put him at a 62.
The prosecution asserted that an effort test showed Robertson did not try hard on the Proctor test, thus the low score. The State of Texas also brought forward that Robertson's scores on testing to get a GED had gone down after he learned how much his scores were improving and as the trial approached.
Prosecutors also questioned the extent of the individuals interviewed by Reschly for his analysis, and brought a number of actions and activities of Robertsons that could counter the idea that he lacks in some behavioral abilities.
If the jury believes Reschly, they cannot set punishment for Robertson as death. Via a U.S. Supreme Court ruling, mentally retarded people cannot receive the death penalty. The only other punishment option is life in prison without possibility of parole.
Robertson was convicted one week ago of the August 2010 murder of his ex-girlfriend's mother, Annie Toliver, who was attacked in the College Station Walmart parking lot. Her body was dumped in a parking lot in Fort Worth, where Robertson later led police on a high speed chase. Robertson intentionally slammed his SUV into a patrol car, seriously injuring the officer inside.
Because a witness is ill, the trial will resume Monday morning.
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