CommunityPam's House Blend

How's this for a defense — the aliens made me do it

Scott Krause is accused of crashing into a UPS truck and killing driver Drew Reynolds in 2004.

I really thought I had found the “I’m not sh*tting you” story for the week with the Christian analysis of Land of the Dead, but this news item challenges for top position. A California meth addict’s defense for killing a UPS driver when he rammed into the truck is something out of Law and Order. This dude has to be suffering from mental illness, but the fact he was smoking meth at least twice a day is the height of inappropriate self-medication. Plus, his mile-long rap sheet sounds like he should have been locked up/in a facility long ago.

Scott Krause’s defense will argue that the defendant believed he was trying to escape man-eating subterranean beings when he ran into Drew Reynolds’ truck on Jan. 6, 2004. Krause has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to five felony counts, including first-degree murder, carjacking, and burglary, stemming from a string of alleged criminal activities leading up to the fatal highway crash.

In three court-ordered evaluations, the defendant stated he was fleeing subterranean beings he called “hemadrones” when he carjacked a commercial vehicle near a Nevada City, Calif., gas station and then crashed into Reynolds’ service vehicle. “Everything had to do with his escape from the hemadrones,” said Nevada County District Attorney Michael Ferguson. “According to the defendant, he was afraid they were going to put him in cargo and ship him to China to be eaten.”

Calls to public defender Gary Gordon went unanswered.

The evidentiary burden will fall on the defense to prove that Krause, a known methamphetamine addict with a history of drug-related arrests, was suffering from a pre-existing mental condition that either prevented him from understanding the consequences of his actions or knowing the difference between right or wrong. A psychologist testified in a preliminary hearing that when he examined Krause in 2002, the divorced father of two displayed signs of delusions and paranoid schizophrenia. He also testified that for at least two years before the incident, Krause was using methamphetamine at least twice a day.

“This is purely a case about mental state,” Ferguson said. “Were his actions methamphetamine-induced or was he suffering from a pre-offense illness?” Of Krause’s lengthy rap sheet, Grass Valley police chief John Foster simply said, “We’re aware of him,” in an interview with the local newspaper, The Union.

When the accident occurred, Krause was already on misdemeanor probation after pleading to charges of being under the influence of a controlled substance, possessing controlled substance paraphernalia and resisting a peace officer in August 2003. That arrest occurred four days before he was to begin drug counseling for a previous arrest for possessing a hypodermic needle. Earlier in 2003, he was arrested for attempted vehicle theft, removing car parts and damaging property while attempting to hot-wire a neighbor’s car.

I think my vote still stays with the AmTaliban Zombie movie review, only because the author of that essay was probably stone cold sober when he wrote it.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding