Should murder suspect get CAT Scan?

Posted at 12:54 PM, Dec 13, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-13 12:54:06-05

Hanover, Va.  (WTVR) –  Should thousands of dollars of taxpayer money be spent to determine whether a murder suspect is insane?  A suspect who’s already been declared competent to stand trial?

That’s the decision in front of a Hanover County judge concerning Brian Mallory.  He’s charged with 1st degree murder in the brutal stabbing death of 44-year old Sarajane Hakopian in late January of this year. 

In court this morning, Mallory’s defense attorney told the judge new information had come from his client’s family members suggesting his client might have brain damage, and the only way to be sure is for Mallory to undergo neurological examination including an MRI and CAT scan.

Earlier this year in a preliminary hearing, Dr. Robert Gibby testified that after psychological tests, he determined Mallory was competent enough to stand trial.  In court this morning, Dr. Gibby said that determination might change if neurological testing found Mallory had organic brain damage.

The prosecution argues there is no precedent for more testing, and it’s unfair that the county would have to pay for it.  The judge decided he would take some time to review case history and will make a ruling on Feb. 28th.

In an interview earlier this year Hakopian’s mother, Betty Savage, told CBS 6 News’ Jon Burkett that she talked to her daughter about Brian Mallory, the man who was living with her.

“Some maniac takes her life from her after she was trying to help him. I just can’t understand someone so inhumane, so evil,” said Savage. “I’m heartsick over this. I’ll never get over this one.  You can’t get over losing a child.”

Deputies arrested Mallory in Jacksonville, Florida and originally charged him with Grand Larceny in the theft of Hakopian’s minivan.

Court documents showed Mallory was convicted of robbery and abduction in 1991 and sentenced to 124 years in prison with 90 years suspended. At that time the law was that inmates only had to serve 30 percent of their sentences.

Mallory served his time and then returned after a violation to his probation.