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Tampa jury won't hear all that defendant in police killing told mental health experts

TAMPA — The man accused of killing Tampa police Cpl. Mike Roberts told mental health experts in detail what he was thinking before and during the 2009 shooting, but a judge said Tuesday he'll limit how much of his story a jury can hear.

Humberto Delgado's first-degree murder trial is expected to begin Monday. The prosecution wants the death penalty, while the defense claims that Delgado was delusional and the shooting wasn't premeditated.

In a pretrial hearing Monday, two psychologists and a psychiatrist diagnosed Delgado as having a bipolar disorder with psychotic features, partly based on interviews they conducted with him in jail. One of the experts said he considered Delgado legally insane, while two diagnosed him as sane but said his acts weren't premeditated.

In the interviews, Delgado described a yearslong fear of the fraternal society of Masons. He said he believed that Roberts was a Mason and meant to harm him when Roberts found him with an assault rifle and three handguns on Nebraska Avenue in August 2009.

The prosecution argued it would be unable to challenge Delgado's statements to the experts unless Delgado testified. The defense said the experts needed to be able to explain the basis for their diagnoses.

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Emmett Battles partly agreed with both sides. Before the experts testify, he ruled, they will have to explain, outside the presence of the jury, which parts of Delgado's statements were important to their diagnoses.

Tampa jury won't hear all that defendant in police killing told mental health experts 10/25/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 12:03am]
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