Virginia Torture Attack Suspect Mental State Questioned - NBC4 Washington

Virginia Torture Attack Suspect Mental State Questioned

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dashcam Video Shows Chase, Arrest Of Lawyers In Torture Case

    Video was released today in the trial of Andrew Schmuhl. He's the attorney who's charged with the kidnapping and torture of his wifes ex-boss. Meagan Fitzgerald reports. (Published Wednesday, May 25, 2016)

    What to Know

    • Officers testified Alecia Schmuhl was coherent while Andrew Schmuhl appeared to be in and out of consciousness.

    • Andrew Schmuhl's lawyers are conceding he attacked the couple on that night but are using an "involuntary insanity defense."

    • Tuesday’s court proceedings followed two emotional days of testimony by the victims, describing what they went through that night.

    The third day of testimony in the trial of one half of a couple accused of kidnapping and torturing another couple in the northern Virginia home focused on the condition of the accused man in the case.

    Andrew and Alecia Schmuhl were charged abduction and malicious wounding for the 2014 attack on a lawyer, Leo Fisher, and his wife, Sue Duncan, in a McLean, Virginia, home. The Schmuhls are being tried separately with Andrew being tried first. Alecia Schmuhl will be tried later this summer.

    During testimony on Tuesday, Fairfax County police officers said they were called McLean home after a panic alarm was sounded inside the home. They found Fisher and Duncan inside, tortured and left to die, around 9:45 p.m. on Nov. 9, 2014.

    About 30 later, officers chased a vehicle containing the Schmuhls on the Beltway. One officer testified that Alecia Schmuhl was driving while Andrew Schmuhl was in the passenger seat.

    "I could see both passenger and driver talking to one another," the officer said. "It looked like they were arguing. I could see the passenger discarding his clothing."

    The officer said the car was pulled over in a parking lot in the 7000 block of Commerce Street, and the two were arrested. Officers testified Alecia Schmuhl was coherent while Andrew Schmuhl appeared to be in and out of consciousness, didn’t seem alert and admitted to officers to taking a handful of prescription pills.

    The jury was shown video of Andrew Schmuhl being placed in the back of the police cruiser shortly after he was arrested. Police told the jury that Andrew Schmuhl was taken to the hospital for an evaluation.

    Andrew Schmuhl's lawyers are conceding he attacked the couple on that night but are using an "involuntary insanity defense," saying their client was taking too many medications around the time of the attack. They said his wife was the mastermind of the plan, which was poorly executed by her foot soldier husband.

    Tuesday’s court proceedings followed two emotional days of testimony when Fisher and Duncan testified about how they were tied up, hit with a Taser, stabbed, shot and Fisher had his throat cut. The trial for Andrew Schmuhl is expected to continue on Wednesday.