From the Associated Press:
BOSTON — Jurors deliberating kidnapping charges against the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller asked a judge Wednesday to explain what prosecutors must do to show he was legally sane when he took his 7-year-old daughter.
The jurors sent a written question to Judge Frank Gaziano on Wednesday morning asking if prosecutors have to show either that he knew what he was doing was criminal or that he knew it was morally wrong.
Gaziano told them it is not enough for prosecutors to prove one of those things; they must show both.
The question appeared to show that jurors, who have been deliberating since Monday, are struggling with the legal definition of insanity.
Defense lawyers say Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, was delusional and legally insane when he fled to Baltimore with his daughter, Reigh, during a supervised visit in Boston last July after he lost custody of the girl to his ex-wife.
A psychiatrist who testified for the defense said Gerhartsreiter believed his daughter was
communicating with him telepathically and telling him she needed to be rescued.
Prosecutors call his insanity claim “preposterous” and say he is a con man who planned the kidnapping for months. A prosecution psychiatrist said Gerhartsreiter was not delusional and appeared to exaggerate his symptoms.
Gerhartsreiter, 48, is accused of snatching his daughter during his first visit with the girl after his December 2007 divorce.
He also faces two assault charges for allegedly pushing a social worker overseeing the visit to the ground and instructing his hired driver to “Go! Go! Go!” while the social worker grabbed onto the car door. The social worker suffered minor injuries.
The German-born Gerhartsreiter is also charged with providing a false name to police.
During the trial, several witnesses testified about elaborate tales Gerhartsreiter told during the three decades he has lived in the United States, including his claims of being a physicist, ship’s captain and debt negotiator for small countries.
Prosecutors say he used multiple aliases — including the famous Rockefeller name — to ingratiate himself in wealthy circles in New York, Boston and Los Angeles.
California authorities have labeled him a “person of interest” in the 1985 disappearance and presumed slayings of a San Marino couple, Jonathan and Linda Sohus. Gerhartsreiter, who then went by the name Christopher Chichester, was living in a guest house on the family’s property when they disappeared. A grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case. He has said he had nothing to do with their disappearance.