State expert witness: Father is a narcissist not a sleepwalker in Durham murder trial

DURHAM (WTVD) -- A forensic psychologist testifying on Monday told a jury that a Durham father accused of killing his son is a narcissist not a sleepwalker.

"I diagnosed him with narcissistic personality disorder," said Dr. Nancy Laney, emphasizing that during her four interviews with Mitchell he seemed to have a lack of empathy and a tendency to inflate his abilities and accomplishments.

"There's no evidence to suggest Mr. Mitchell was suffering from any type of mental disease or defect or condition that rendered him unconscious at the time of the alleged offense," said Laney.

A Durham jury will have to decide which expert witness to believe. Forensic psychiatrist George Corvin testified for two days on Mitchell's behalf. He believes the Durham father experienced parasomnia the night he attacked his children.

Mitchell claims he has no memory of what happened.

"It remains a remote possibility that he's lied to us about his memory of these events," said Corvin. "But, it's unlikely."

Mitchell, 50, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of his youngest son, Blake, in September 2010. He's also accused of attempted murder for attacking his oldest son and daughter who were 10 and 13 at the time.

The jury could hear closing arguments on Tuesday.

What they won't hear is testimony about a polygraph.

Before the prosecution called Dr. Laney to the stand, both sides spent more than an hour wrangling over whether the results of a lie detector test should be admitted as evidence.

The defense argued that it should be admissible and asked for the opportunity to ask the state's expert rebuttal witness about it. However, the judge sided with the prosecution and decided it was inadmissible.

During the polygraph, Mitchell was asked whether he lied about his memory of his son's murder and whether he had lied to his attorney. The defense said no deception was found.

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