Insanity defense sought in NJ church shooting

| August 18, 2009

PATERSON, N.J. (AP) – His lawyer plans to use an insanity defense for the California man accused of gunning down two people in a New Jersey church.

Joseph Pallipurath appeared in court Monday with his attorney, who told a judge his client can’t afford to pay for expert witnesses.

Attorney Harley Breite says he’s seeking to have his client declared indigent. But the Public Defender’s Office is reluctant to do that until Pallipurath explains what happened inside a Clifton church in November.

Pallipurath has pleaded not guilty to fatally shooting his estranged wife and a bystander. A third person was shot but survived.

Prosecutors said the Sacramento resident drove across country to confront his estranged wife, who had come to New Jersey to escape what relatives say was an abusive marriage.


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Category: Church Security

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