The state's psychiatric expert testified
Tuesday that Jennifer Paluseo was
not suffering from a mental disorder
when she delivered her baby, hid the
infant and later talked to police
Paluseo, the former
University of Massachusetts student
charged with first-degree murder for
putting her newborn in the trash after
his May 2002 birth in a dormitory
bathroom, is back in Hampshire Superior
Court on a motion to suppress statements
she made to police.
Her lawyer, Terry
Nagel of Springfield, contends she
was suffering from a "dissociative
disorder" at the time and lacked the
judgment to decide whether to speak
Nagel called local
psychiatrist Dr. Jay Holtzman to the
stand nearly two weeks ago. Holtzman,
who had interviewed Paluseo within
two days of the birth, testified she
had a dissociative disorder - loosely
characterized as a split between emotional
and intellectual awareness.
Dr. Martin Kelly,
a forensic psychiatrist who teaches
at Harvard Medical School, testified
Tuesday that she was not suffering
from this disorder and could decide
whether to talk to police.
Kelly said his review
of all police, hospital and court
records in the case found "no element"
of the disorder. Paluseo was cogent,
sensible and making self-interested
choices - such as telling medical
personnel, but not police, about the
birth, Kelly said.
"She was able to
understand her circumstances," Kelly
Nothing in the paperwork
indicated that she was distracted
or confused, he said.
Kelly said Holtzman's
diagnosis seemed based on the fact
that Paluseo was less upset than he
thought she should be.
The hearing, presided
over by Judge Bertha Josephson, is
scheduled to continue July 16 in Franklin
Kimberly Ashton can
be reached at email@example.com.