Psychologist: Mohammed Laghaoui was under strong delusion night he's accused of shooting deputy

Posted at 4:40 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-04 15:36:20-04

LEBANON, Ohio -- Mohammed Laghaoui had more than one severe mental illness, Dr. Douglas Reed told jurors Monday. The forensic psychologist also said Laghaoui was under a strong delusion that someone was going to shoot him the night of June 9. 2016.

Laghaoui is accused of shooting Warren County Deputy Katie Barnes that night after a family dispute. He faces 10 counts, the most serious of which is attempted aggravated murder.

Defense attorney Nadeem Quraishi, who's argued Laghaoui is not guilty by reason of insanity, began to lay out his case this week with Reed's testimony.

Reed told the court Laghaoui had been using synthetic marijuana, known as K2 or Spice, and didn't realize what it contained.

Drugs made far worse whatever rational response Laghaoui might have normally had, Reed said. And he told the court he believes Laghaoui had used synthetic marijuana the night of the shooting.

"He did not know what it was doing to him, in my opinion. It was far worse than he thought," Reed said.


Deputies came to the family's apartment at the Orchards of Landen twice the night of the shooting. Laghaoui brother, Lau, called for help both times.

After an argument over hummus, Mohammed Laghaoui left the apartment and returned after 10 p.m. armed with a rifle, deputies said. Sheriff Larry Sims initially described it as an AK 47; in court, prosecutors said it was an RAS 47.

Laghaoui's father and brother wouldn't let him in, so he shot through the door, striking his father in the hand. Sims previously said he then fired several times at Barnes from the top of the outdoor stairs; in court last week, Assistant Prosecutor Travis Vieux said he shot at her from a parking lot area.


Reed told the court Monday that Laghaoui didn't know how to react.

"He was unable to form a logical response to a novel or new situation," Reed said.

In opening statements, Quraishi laid out a case that Laghaoui had been acting strangely for months -- not eating or sleeping enough, along with the drug use.

"He had been telling his mom and his brother looking in the mirror, 'Do you see the snake? Pull it out,'" Quraishi said.

A psychologist testified in September that Laghaoui exhibited bizarre behavior and wasn't fit to stand trial, but a judge ruled otherwise.

Judge Timothy Tepe told jurors not to talk about the case. Testimony is scheduled to continue Tuesday.