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Experts call Humberto Delgado Jr., sane during Tampa officer's killing

TAMPA — Humberto Delgado Jr. was not insane when he shot Tampa police Cpl. Mike Roberts.

He was angry.

Those are the conclusions of forensic psychiatrists retained by the prosecution to rebut a mental health defense Delgado's attorneys made last week in trial.

Delgado has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and hospitalized for psychotic episodes. And while prosecution psychiatrists recognize the severity of his mental illness, they do not believe Delgado was delusional when he pulled the trigger.

"He knew what he was doing," Dr. Barbara Stein said.

Delgado was homeless, pushing a shopping cart on the streets of Sulphur Springs, when the corporal approached him on Aug. 19, 2009. Delgado told Stein he didn't want the corporal to see him as just "some other bum," so he showed him an identification card saying he was a veteran.

Delgado sensed there might be trouble when the corporal found his guns, so he told Roberts he had documentation, Stein said.

Delgado told Stein he blacked out after Roberts shot him with a Taser, but she doubts his memory loss. She said that afterward, he checked Roberts to see if the officer was injured and tried to radio for help. And she referenced a call Delgado made minutes later, telling his uncle he had shot an officer.

"I don't know how to reconcile how someone can be reasonably intact right up to an alleged crime and right after, and then to say for the split second that he might be insane," Stein said. "I don't think mental illness looks that way."

Delgado told the psychiatrists he felt Cpl. Roberts discriminated against him, spoke with aggression and searched his things without permission.

"He was very upset and angry," said Dr. Wade Myers, "and he was displaying his anger toward the victim for hassling him that night."

A defense-appointed forensic psychiatrist has testified that Delgado was legally insane that night and could not decipher right from wrong.

Delgado's family and friends have recounted bizarre behavior that began in his native St. Croix, including a delusion that his children had goat legs, Masons were hunting him and the rapper 50 Cent was out to kill him.

If jurors find Delgado guilty of first-degree murder, he could face the death penalty.

Both sides are expected to give closing arguments today.

If jury deliberations go into the night, death penalty trial protocol dictates that the panel will be lodged at a nearby hotel.

The judge instructed jurors to pack an overnight bag.

Alexandra Zayas can be reached at azayas@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3354.

Experts call Humberto Delgado Jr., sane during Tampa officer's killing 11/14/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 14, 2011 10:58pm]
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