A closer look at UT stabbing suspect's state of mind
HOUSTON – Kendrix White says he remembers waking up Monday, May 1, skipping class and walking around the University of Texas campus in Austin with a knife.
Something he says he often did for protection. White claims he has no memory of what happened next.
"I feel completely awe struck. They told me I was being charged with murder and one person died and I said, 'Oh my goodness,' I didn't think that going out of my mind could go to a position where someone would lose their life," White said.
Police say White stabbed four people, one of them, freshman Harris Brown, died.
White says he talked with one of his lawyer’s doctors, who wants to do a mental health evaluation on him.
White believes he might suffer from schizophrenia and epilepsy.
"I do know I have had problems with my mind but I didn't think it would be to the point of interaction with someone - lethal interaction,” White said.
Those statements, along with White’s state of mind that day, could potentially determine whether he is competent to stand trial.
"Even though its sensationalized, the insanity defense, from a psychological standpoint it's extremely hard to prove,” Justin Stapleton said.
Before becoming a meteorologist, Stapleton worked as a forensic evaluator.
He did psychological assessments on individuals to determine whether they were competent to stand trial.
“You would have to try to get more detail about what was happening to him in that day, what was happening in his mind that day. He made mention of some slight voices,” Stapleton said.
White's attorney released a statement Wednesday that read:
"The lawyers and family of Kendrex White are greatly disheartened by the video release of a jail interview yesterday by TV station KPRC. The video was conducted by teleconference in the psychiatric ward of the Travis County Jail facility. It is unclear whether Ms. Bauer, the reporter, recorded the videoconference without the knowledge of Mr. White. Furthermore, he lacked the mental capacity to understand the purpose or nature of that interview. Mr. White was not afforded the same protections that any person suffering from mental illness should be afforded under the circumstances. This reporter's reckless actions have now compromised the opportunity for the victims, their families, and everyone affected by this case a chance for a fair and just trial. As advocates for our community, we would like to send a strong message to Ms. Bauer and all media outlets, that taking advantage of a mentally ill person under any circumstance is unconscionable and cannot be tolerated. Our Constitution affords everyone, even those suffering from mental illness, the right to counsel, the right to remain silent, and the right to a a fair trial. The lawyers have grave concerns that Ms. Bauer's careless actions have violated the very fundamental rights we all have as citizens of the United States."
KPRC2 released the following statement in response to what White's lawyers had to say:
"On Tuesday May 9th, KPRC2 aired excerpts from a jailhouse interview with murder suspect Kendrex White. In response to a statement released by his attorneys, KPRC2 stands behind the story, its accuracy, and the journalists involved. The full recordings show KPRC was very transparent with Mr. White that he was speaking to a journalist and he had the option to not answer any question he did not feel comfortable with. If Mr. White's legal counsel felt he was not fit to make those decisions for himself, there are standard procedures to ensure interviews are not allowed. His counsel had the means to execute the 'no interview' protocol and they did not do that. In the absence of that restriction, any media organization is able to request the interview and corrections officials are within their rights to grant it."
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