A forensic psychiatrist testified Friday that Radee Labeeb Prince suffered from delusions that people wanted to do him harm, which may have led to a 2017 workplace shooting in Edgewood, for which Prince is standing trial.
Prince, 40, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two attendant firearms charges in connection to a shooting at Advanced Granite Solutions that killed three people and injured two.
Forensic Psychiatrist David Williamson, the defense’s expert witness who testified remotely from Texas via Zoom, said Prince was dealing with a host of mental illnesses that likely persisted through the October 2017 shooting; psychological irregularities that also made him bombastic on the witness stand.
As the fifth day of the trial began, Prince took the stand to continue cross examination from assistant state’s attorney Timothy Doory. The two continued a contentious back-and-forth that began Thursday, where Prince vehemently defended himself against assertions that he was aggressive and that he planned the Advanced Granite shooting.
Killed in the shooting were Bayarsaikhan Tudev, 53, of Virginia; Jose Hidalgo Romero, 34, of Aberdeen; and Enis Mrvoljak, 48, of Dundalk. Jose Roberto Flores Guillen of Edgewood, and Enoc Sosa of North East, were injured in the attack. Both Guillen and Sosa testified for the state earlier in the week.
On Friday, Doory brought up Prince’s multiple expulsions from middle and grade school for fighting, and his history of job-hopping. Presented while questioning Prince was a letter from his previous employer before he began working for Advanced Granite Solutions indicating he was dismissed from his position for insubordination, raising his voice and posturing threateningly. Doory noted that Prince did not list the job on the resume he sent to the granite-cutting company.
Prince stated he had left that job, but told Advanced Granite Solutions' management about his short stint in the role. He further explained his short-term positions as being temporary jobs arranged through a temp agency, not because of conflict with coworkers.
Prince said he felt threatened after he gathered his coworkers together the day of the shooting. He said his coworkers' “horseplay” felt targeted — like they were deliberately trying to scare him — and he started shooting when he saw a threatening motion in his peripheral vision.
He did not agree with Doory that the gun introduced into evidence was the same one he used to shoot five people.
But Doory noted that — figuratively speaking — the shoe did not fit on Prince’s story. Because of the nature of work in the granite shop, and water on the ground from the machines, employees of the granite shop often wore waterproof boots. In the video of the shooting, Prince is wearing sneakers, tacitly suggesting he was not there to work at all and had planned the shooting, Doory said.
“Can you please tell me why you did not wear your boots all morning?” he asked.
“Sometimes I do not need them,” Prince shot back. “You do know they sell waterproof sneakers, right?”
At several points during the heated exchange, Judge Yolanda Curtin told the two to not speak over each other and reminded Prince to answer, not ask, questions.
Prince also testified that the man he went on to shoot in Delaware the same day as the Advanced Granite shootings, Rashan “Jason” Baul, had paid men to assault him in 2014.
Earlier in the trial, defense attorneys showed pictures of Prince in a hospital bed with a large gash on his head from said attack, and multiple witnesses testified the event profoundly changed Prince, who became paranoid and mistrustful of longstanding friends and family afterward.
Several defense witnesses also said that Prince would stare out of windows at his home and could be heard talking to himself as if having a two-way conversation.
Williamson testified later Friday that Prince suffered from major depression with psychotic features, including delusions and hallucinations. The disorders could be explained from school reports, interviews with the people in Prince’s life and conversations with the man himself. As a result of the assault, his upbringing and his own brain chemistry, Williamson concluded that Prince had a major mood disorder that affected his judgment and made him prone to impulsiveness and paranoia.
His testimony was “consistent with an individual who has those disorders,” Williamson said. “His temperament is not normal.”
Williamson contended that Prince envisioned a delusional conspiracy where everyone around him wanted to do him harm. The assault caused damage to Prince’s brain — particularly the frontal lobe, responsible for judgment and emotional processing — which, coupled with his already irregular brain, likely exacerbated his mental issues.
“The fact that he had a head injury as an adult and did not have a normal brain to begin with … having a brain injury on top of that probably made that worse,” Williamson testified.
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Those conditions likely existed on the day of the shooting, he said, dovetailing into defense attorney Mary Pizzo’s claim of imperfect self defense — when a person believes there is a threat to them when an otherwise reasonable person would not see one.
Doory, on cross examination, noted that Williams was hired by the defense and suggested that his opinion on Prince’s mental state was bought and paid for. Williamson rejected that notion, saying other opinions he has given attorneys are not always what most benefits their clients.
“I am paid for my time,” he said. “The opinion is not for sale.”
Doory also questioned the sources Williamson drew from in forming his opinion, asking the psychiatrist if he thought Prince, or his friends, had lied to him. Williamson said that psychological issues could be deduced from a pattern of symptoms noticed by multiple people and that he had taken Prince’s own words with a grain of salt.
Williamson testified he did not consider the note that police found at Prince’s house in making his determination.
Prosecutors said the note, which reads “if I don’t make it home, please know I tried,” speaks to Prince’s intention to commit the shooting. Prince himself denied writing the note before the shooting; he said he wrote it during a rough patch in his relationship with LaKendra Harris when he went to live in Georgia for a short while.
The prosecution’s cross-examination of Williamson is expected to continue Monday. After him, the defense will have no more witnesses to call, and the jury can receive its instructions for deliberation.