LIMA — Two forensic psychologists — each of whom performed competency evaluations on Timothy Youngblood and came to differing professional opinions about his mental state at the time the Lima man stabbed his father to death in July of 2018 — were the lone witnesses Wednesday in Youngblood’s murder trial.
In the absence of a jury, Allen County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey Reed heard the testimony and said he will issue his verdict Monday in the case of the 33-year-old man charged with murder in the 2018 stabbing death of his father.
Youngblood waived his right to a jury trial earlier this year. He had previously entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. After being ruled incompetent to stand trial in October 2018, two psychiatric examinations determined that Youngblood — who police say stabbed his father to death with a military-style word at the family’s home at 311 E. 14th St. in Lima on July 9, 2018 — had been fully restored to competency.
Police say 65-year-old Van Youngblood was stabbed multiple times by his son with the weapon that was taken from a shadowbox in the family home. At issue at the trial was the son’s ability at the time to understand the consequences of his actions.
Dr. Kara Marciani, a psychologist at the Forensic Psychiatry Center for Western Ohio in Dayton, testified that Youngblood was unquestionably suffering from a “mental disease” at the time of the incident and conceded he had been diagnosed years earlier as suffering from paranoia and schizophrenia, with episodes of “delusional thinking” and hallucinations.
Based on a lengthy interview with the defendant, however, Marcini said she had no doubt that Youngblood “did have knowledge of the wrongfulness of his acts” when he stabbed his father up to nine times with a sword.
“When people have a mental illness, not everything they do is crazy,” the doctor testified.
Assistant Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Miller, in his opening remarks, said that the “knowledge of wrongfulness” on Youngblood’s part was the sole issue to be determined at trial.
Defense Attorney Kirk McVay, from the Ohio Public Defenders’ Office, agreed and said the testimony of another psychologist would show that while the two professionals agreed on much of their respective findings as they pertained to Youngblood’s mental state, “they disagree on whether he knew the wrongfulness of his acts.”
He called to the stand Dr. Jamie Adkins, an independent psychologist who was agreed by all parties to be an expert witness. Adkins said Youngblood exhibited “signs of acute psychosis” leading up to the July 9 incident, had exhibited increasingly aggressive behavior in a group home setting and had made statements indicating conflicts with his father. It was her opinion that he had no knowledge that his actions were wrong.
Miller attempted to poke holes in Adkins’ testimony, calling her findings “flawed” and “built on a weak foundation.” The prosecutor said the defense, “which has the burden to prove its ‘not guilty by reason of insanity plea’ beyond a preponderance of evidence, has failed to meet that burden.”
Reed said a verdict would be issued at 3:30 p.m. Monday.