Closing Arguments Expected in Netherland Trial

By: Rae Chelle Davis Email
By: Rae Chelle Davis Email

Theodore Netherland sat quietly in his chair as his attorney, Kathleen Ambrosio, defended him. Three witnesses were called to the stand. The first was Dr. Robert Shulman a psychiatrist who evaluated Mr. Netherland on two occasions. The second was a case worker named Michelle White. White met with Mr. Netherland on numerous occasions beginning in 2005. The third was Randy Mills who was the Chief Investigator on the Estes homicide in 1989.

Dr. Shulman testified that he was first asked to meet with Mr. Netherland in 2006. Both of the meetings took place at the Shawnee County Detention facility. Dr. Shulman said the first meeting lasted two and a half hours and he performed a diagnostic interview and tried to get information from him. However, Dr. Shulman said it was difficult. He said Mr. Netherland was never hostile or angry but he never appeared connected.

Dr. Shulman said Mr. Netherland described hearing a male voice. Dr. Shulman concluded Mr. Netherland's grasp of reality was limited and distorted. Dr. Shulman said Netherland suffered from schizophrenia and has delusions and hallucinations. He said this can cause people to believe things that are not true.

Dr. Shulman said Mr. Netherland suffered from disorganized thinking and has to be prompted. The defense may use this testimony to argue that the detectives who interviewed Mr. Netherland in 2006 may have appeared to be superior to Mr. Netherland and therefore Mr. Netherland perceived that they were nice to him and gave them the confession they were looking for. Dr. Shulman said he is very susceptible to suggestion which would support the argument.

The most compelling testimony came from Randy Mills who told Ms. Ambrosio that Mr. Netherland's name never even came up during their investigation in 1989. Instead, he said there was one suspect who, in Mr. Mills' mind, was never cleared. That suspect is Eugene Rice.

Clyde Donnell Jones told Mr. Mills that a week or two after the homicide he was with friends talking about the killing. Jones said that Rice told them he killed Estes because he needed money.

Mr. Radford also signed a statement for Mr. Mills saying that he was driving down 21st when he was flagged down by a young man. He let the man get into the car but made him get out when he noticed blood on the young man's shirt. Radford identified Rice in a line up.

There was no blood or DNA found in Mr. Radford's car.

Closing arguments will begin at 10:00 Wednesday morning.


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