Erik Menendez told his brother, Lyle, "I can't kill anymore" after confessing to a psychologist that they shot their millionaire parents, a court disclosed in ruling the confession can be used as evidence.
The 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that tapes and notes of conversations between Erik and Lyle Menendez and the psychologist may be used as evidence against the brothers at their trial.The brothers' lawyers had argued that using the information would violate doctor-patient privilege. Defense attorney Joel R. Isaacson says the decision will be appealed to the California Supreme Court.
The three-judge appeals court ruled unanimously that doctor-patient privilege ceased on the grounds that the life of the psychologist, Jerome Oziel, was threatened.
The court's 24-page ruling quoted Oziel's girlfriend as saying she overheard Lyle Menendez, 23, tell Erik - the first to confess - that Oziel would have to die because he knew they had slain their parents.
She said 20-year-old Erik replied, between sobs: "I can't stop you from what you have to do, but . . . I can't kill anymore."
Jose and Kitty Menendez were shot to death in their Beverly Hills mansion on Aug. 20, 1989. Their sons were arrested a year later.