Psychiatrist Testifies in Laney Trial - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/31/04 - Tyler

Psychiatrist Testifies in Laney Trial

by Alex Carias

Unlike the past two days, no tears from the 39 year old mother. Deanna Laney looked alert and listened closely as Smith County D.A. Matt Bingham struggled with his own witness, Psychiatrist Park Dietz.

Earlier the doctor told the jury Laney felt close to Andrea Yates, the Houston mother who drowned all of her children. Laney felt when the world ended, that she and Yates would be the only two people left alive to carry on the word of God. The doctor concluded she was extremely mentally disturbed at the time of the killings. Wednesday morning, Bingham tried to shake that testimony.

Over a couple of hours, the D.A. pointed out that Laney plotted the boys death, was sneaky, she tried to deceive her husband, her family and fellow church members the days and hours leading up to that tragic night.

"God's telling her to do it and she doesn't want to do it. If this is a battle between good and evil, how is she to know which one of those is good and which was is evil. It's very difficult. She has to choose God," explained Dr. Dietz..

"How about the passage "Thou shall not kill.?" That's not complicated that's one of the Ten Commandments, thou shall not kill. How would she resolve that dilemma in having what she's called only a prompting not some verbal perception that god's talking to her, how would she resolve that conflict?" asked Bingham.

"She'd resolve that conflict by reference to the Fommandment that above all one most obey God." responded Dr. Dietz.

Dietz, who was hired by prosecutors, testified that Laney "felt as if the Lord were saying 'if you keep rejecting, it's going to keep getting worse."'

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