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Mental health experts testify in Ark. murder trial

Jurors in the capital murder trial of a man accused of killing an Arkansas police officer heard from more mental health experts on Wednesday.
PARAGOULD, Ark. (AP) - Jurors in the capital murder trial of a man accused of killing an Arkansas police officer heard from more mental health experts on Wednesday.

Garrett Andrews, a forensic neuropsychologist hired by the state, said Jerry Lard showed planning and deliberation before he shot and killed Trumann police officer Jonathan Schmidt during a traffic stop.

Andrews said Lard, now 38, concealed his handgun when Schmidt looked inside the vehicle in which Lard was a passenger, The Jonesboro Sun reported.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Lard.

Lard's lawyers don't dispute that he shot Schmidt, but they argue that Lard suffers from a mental disease or defect.

Two doctors testified earlier this week that they saw evidence of brain damage when they examined Lard after the shooting. They said someone with brain damage isn't able to control impulses or make deliberate decisions.

Andrews, who did not examine Lard but reviewed reports from others who did, said their conclusions were flawed, The Sun reported.

Testimony is expected to continue Thursday.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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