Expert: Elias Abuelazam is schizophrenic - WNEM TV 5

Defense rests in Flint serial stabbing trial

Elias Abuelazam in court Elias Abuelazam in court

FLINT, Mich. (AP) -  The defense has rested in the case against a man accused in a series of deadly stabbings in Mid-Michigan.

A psychiatrist testified Thursday for the defense says Elias Abuelazam is a paranoid schizophrenic.

Dr. Norman Miller spoke from the stand in the trial of Abuelazam, an Israeli immigrant facing his first murder trial stemming from 14 stabbings in and around Flint two summers ago.

Abuelazam never took the stand in his own defense at any time during the trial.

Miller says Abuelazam had "bizarre delusions" that "evil forces directed him to harm others."

The defense strategy is to show that Abuelazam was insane and not criminally responsible in the death of Arnold Minor in 2010.

Miller says Abuelazam attempted suicide in 1997 by stabbing himself in the neck.

Abuelazam is also charged with two other murders in the Flint area and six attempted murders. He's also charged with attempted murder in Toledo, Ohio.

There is a legal difference between "mental illness" and "legal insanity." 

Mental illness defined by law as substantial disorder of thoughts or mood that significantly impairs judgement, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or the ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life.

Insanity is when a person must first be mental ill or mentally retarded, but that is not enough to be legally insane. The person must, because of his/her mental illness or mental retardation, lack substantial capacity to either appreciate the nature and quality for the wrongfulness of his/her conduct to or to conform his/her conduct to the requirements of the law.

Copyright 2012 by WNEM (Meredith Corporation) and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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