Defense Rests In Trial Of Reputed Order Member Charged With Killing Trooper
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ The defense rested its case today in the first-degree murder trial of an alleged member of the white supremacist group The Order who is accused of killing one state trooper and wounding another.
David Tate, 23, of Athol, Idaho, is accused of shooting the officers with a silencer-equipped machine pistol during a routine traffic check on April 15.
Judge Frank Conley called Tate and his chief attorney, Public Defender Patrick Deaton, to the bench today at the start of the third day of the trial and told Tate he understood Deaton had advised him not to testify.
″No one can force you to testify. Do you understand you have the right to tell Mr. Deaton, ’I want to testify?‴ Conley said.
Tate’s response could not be heard from the audience, but moments later the defense rested its case.
Deaton said early in the trial that he would not deny that Tate shot and killed trooper Jimmie Linegar, 31, adding that he would tell jurors Tate had been led astray by leaders of a right-wing religious group. Prosecuting Attorney James Justus said in opening arguments Monday, however, that Tate knew what he was doing when he shot the troopers.
The trial moved quickly Tuesday, with the prosecution resting its case in the afternoon after calling 10 witnesses.
A psychiatrist testified for the defense Tuesday that Tate’s actions may have been fueled by right-wing beliefs ″learned and taught to him″ by his family and church, the Church of Jesus Christ Christian in Hayden Lake, Idaho. Authorities have said The Order was made up of people who split from the church.
William Logan, director of law and psychiatry at the Menninger Foundation, a private psychiatric hospital in Topeka, Kan., said Tate may appear to have symptoms of mental disorder because his beliefs ″come from so far out of the spectrum they appear quite paranoid.″
″David’s beliefs were essentially identical to the beliefs of the church,″ he said, saying the basic principle of Tate’s church was ″the white race is the chosen race of God.″
Jews were viewed as evil by the church and ″Jews and government were seen as almost interchangeable,″ Logan said. ″They see the Bible more as a political doctrine″ written to ensure the survival of the white race.
Logan said Tate had adopted The Order’s beliefs that robbery was ″taking money from the Jewish monetary establishment″ and that killing was justified in self-defense.
Betty Tate, the defendant’s mother, testified that she and her husband Charles moved to Careywood, Idaho, from Boise so they could attend the church.
″We wanted to learn the history, our history and our heritage″ from the church, Mrs. Tate said. ″Our role in our church is our total life.″
Trooper Allen D. Hines, 35, who was wounded in the shootout, testified Tuesday and was recalled to the stand by the state today.
Hines said he walked to the passenger side of Tate’s van and Linegar walked to the driver’s side.
Hines, who suffered three gunshot wounds, testified that when he moved around the side of the van he saw Tate running away and found Linegar fatally wounded with his weapon still in the holster.
A pathologist testified that Linegar was shot 11 times.
If convicted, Tate could face death in the state’s gas chamber or 50 years in prison with no chance for parole.