Judge Allows ‘Unconscious' Defense in Virginia Torture Case

What to Know

  • Schmuhl testified that he did not remember attacking his wife's former boss, only waking up in the hospital afterward.
  • Schmuhl listed over a dozen medications he was taking at the time of the attack and said he suffered from severe back pain.
  • Prosecutors pointed out a host of inconsistencies in Schmuhl's claims about his pain to suggest he exaggerated his ailments.

A judge ruled Wednesday the defense can use a so-called "unconscious" defense in the trial of a former military lawyer charged in the near fatal attack of a Virginia couple.

But because of limits on psychiatric testimony, it will be difficult to prove that case.

The judge also ruled Andrew Schmuhl's defense can't try to argue that he was suffering from medication-induced delirium when he tased, stabbed and shot A law firm partner and his wife.

According to the prosecution, Schmuhl and his wife planned the attack after she was fired from victim Leo Fisher's law firm.

Tuesday Schmuhl took the witness stand to say he was in a mental fog from the many medications he took at the time and doesn't remember anything about the attack or the planning.

Schmuhl and his wife, Alecia, were both charged with two counts of abduction and two counts of malicious wounding in the attack of Fisher and his wife, Sue Duncan, in their McLean home Nov. 9, 2014.

Closing arguments in Andrew Schmuhl's trial are expected Monday.

Alecia Schmuhl faces trial in the fall.

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