Defense attorney Shannon Sexton filed notice with the Newport court of plans to argue his client ingested so much caffeine in the days leading up to the killing that it rendered him temporarily insane -- unable even to form the intent of committing a crime.And psychologist Robert Noelker has provided an expert opinion to bolster this patently absurd defense:
In the weeks preceding May 4, 2009, Woody Smith told Noelker, he hadn't been sleeping, in part out of fear his wife would take their two children and leave him.
"The next several hours of Mr. Smith's life, were described to me as if he were in a daze," Noelker wrote in a report.
After sleeping intermittently, Smith had nap with one child he picked up from school at midday at a school near their home in Dayton, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati. After picking up the second child later that day, Smith said he went to his mother and stepfather's house.
He described feeling "out of control," weeping to the point of being unable to communicate. Smith eventually confided in his stepfather, Noelker wrote, "I think my wife is dead..."
Noelker said he determined Smith was open to "brief psychosis" brought on by sleep deprivation, which was caused by the heavy ingestion of diet pills and caffeine in the weeks leading up to his wife's death.
"It is my opinion that this disorder was the direct result of psychosis due to severe insomnia," Noelker wrote in a report filed in Smith's case. Noelker is expected to be called as a defense witness.
Yes, Kentucky does offer a voluntary intoxication defense (see, KRS 501.080(1)).