Murder suspect's sanity questioned by defense witnesses

Testimony in the murder trial of a former west Sonoma County man accused of killing his sister's boyfriend called into question his sanity Tuesday and pointed to a possible defense strategy.

Barbara Evans told jurors that her son, defendant Jarrod Miller, 30, reported seeing "green aliens" as a teenager living at home more than 10 years ago and woke up with a knife in his hands.

Not long after, he fell into deep depression when a favorite uncle committed suicide and he injured two friends in a drunken-driving crash, his mother testified.

Shooting At Home On Alexander Valley Road In Healdsburg


She said she requested that doctors put him under psychiatric observation but he was rejected.

"For four months, he sat in his bedroom wrapped in a blanket," Evans testified of his reaction to his uncle's death. "He wouldn't talk to anyone."

Testimony followed from a forensic psychologist hired by Miller's lawyers who said he examined Miller and concluded he suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

Thomas Cushing said Miller's score on a clinical test put him on par with those who believe they are "receiving messages" from electronic equipment such as radios and TVs.

"His score was consistent with people who experience hallucinations and delusions," Cushing testified.

The statements, which appeared aimed at a mental impairment claim, came during the fifth day of testimony in Miller's trial.

The ex-Marine and former El Molino High School student is accused of killing Timothy Neuer, 29, at his Alexander Valley home on March 8.

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