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Prosecution Expert: Salvi is Sane

March 13, 1996

DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) _ A state psychiatrist rebutted defense claims Tuesday that John C. Salvi III is a schizophrenic, although he acknowledged that he was unaware of certain delusions Salvi suffered.

Dr. Joel Haycock, chief of forensic psychiatry at Bridgewater State Hospital, said he declared Salvi sane without knowing he told a defense psychiatrist that Roman Catholic babies were being injected with spermicide to sterilize them, or that Salvi said his father’s car and home were bugged.

Salvi’s lawyers admit he was the gunman who shot up two abortion clinics in December 1994, killing two women and wounding five others. They maintain, however, that he was a schizophrenic who saw himself as one of the good people in a battle between good and evil.

Haycock, who interviewed Salvi seven or eight times before writing a 40-page report, said Salvi does not suffer from the delusions that are characteristic of paranoid schizophrenia.

But under cross-examination, Haycock conceded some of Salvi’s beliefs could be considered delusional.

``Were you aware of John Salvi’s telling his father the car and house in Florida were bugged?″ defense attorney Janice Bassil asked.

``I don’t believe so,″ Haycock said.

``Would that be a delusion?″ Bassil asked.

``That’s potentially a delusion,″ the doctor said.

``It’s a classic example of a delusion, is it not, the belief that someone is bugging your car, your house with electrical wires?″ Bassil said.

``Yes,″ Haycock said.

Haycock also acknowledged writing in his interview notes that Salvi had expressed grandiose thoughts, disorganized thinking and was guarded in his responses. All are symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia, he testified.

Bassil suggested that Salvi had not revealed some of his beliefs to avoid appearing insane. He knew that Haycock would be instrumental in determining whether he would stand trial, Bassil said, and did not want to jeopardize his chances of getting his message about Catholic persecution out in court.

``John Salvi didn’t talk to you about the injection of spermicide into the scrotums of Catholic babies,″ Bassil said.

``He did not give me the same information he gave Dr. (David) Bear,″ a defense psychiatrist who testified earlier, Haycock said.

Salvi’s lawyers tried unsuccessfully to prevent Haycock from testifying, saying his interviews with Salvi violated the defendant’s Fifth Amendment protection against having his own words used against him.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Salvi, 24, of Hampton, N.H., faces mandatory life in prison without the possibility of parole. If acquitted by reason of insanity, he will be committed to a state hospital until deemed sane.

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