Jury deliberating sanity of Carlsbad school shooter

VISTA (CNS) – Jurors trying to determine whether a man was legally insane when he wounded two second-graders during a 2010 shooting rampage at a Carlsbad elementary school will deliberate for a second day today.

Brendan O'Rourke, 42, was convicted last week of seven counts each of premeditated attempted murder and assault with a firearm.

The jury started deliberations Wednesday afternoon after closing arguments in the sanity phase of trial, in which the defense has the burden to prove that O'Rourke was insane when he opened fire during lunch recess at Kelly Elementary School on Oct. 8, 2010.

Deputy Public Defender Dan Segura told jurors that delusions and a mental disease led the defendant to believe that his former employer, AIG Inc., and Illinois politicians were involved in a conspiracy against him.

A number of psychiatrists testified that O'Rourke was suffering from schizophrenia or a delusion
disorder, or a combination of both, when he opened fire on the school grounds.

Among O'Rourke's mental illnesses is a “persecutory delusion” that someone is out to get him, his attorney said. The disease makes people lose touch with reality and believing things that are not true,” Segura told the jury.

But Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan said O'Rourke gave police conflicting statements on why he carried out the attack at the school. He suggested O'Rourke “lashed out” because he wasn't able to date “20-something” women, as he desired.

One psychiatrist testified that O'Rourke was delusional when he opened fire at the school but knew it was wrong, both legally and morally.

If the defendant is found sane, he faces 103 years to life in state prison. If the jury finds him insane, he could be sent to a state mental hospital.

Categories: KUSI