The trial of Clarence Leake, the man who held hostages at gunpoint in the LDS Church's Washington, D.C., Temple in October 1986, was expected to conclude Thursday as defense witnesses testified that childhood trauma caused the gunman to become mentally ill.
Defense psychiatrists continued to testify Wednesday that Leake was suffering from delusions during the 16-hour siege. So far doctors for the defense and from the Clifton T. Perkins State Hospital have been unanimous that Leake, 30, was "not criminally responsible" on the night he invaded the temple.The state of Maryland has charged Leake was angry with the LDS Church over not renewing his temple recommend and telling him he needed to resume tithing and regular church attendance.
Dr. Lawrence Raifman, director of psychology at Perkins, told the court he found Leake suffered delusions and fear of persecution growing out of the breakup of his parents' home, their divorce and separation.
The defendant, Raifman said, showed he was pathological and delusional when he attempted to subpoena 14 "resurrected" Mormon prophets to testify for him in court.
He held up the temple, Raifman said, because he thought he would help bring about the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and become a part of Latter-day Saint history.
Dr. Stephen Siebert, also of Perkins Hospital, echoed Raifman. Siebert, who interviewed Leake two weeks ago, said Leake's delusional disorder is the type of sickness that remains stable over time, and he probably was suffering it in October 1986.
Leake's family, however, felt he had been indoctrinated by a cult, Siebert testified. Defense witnesses have repeatedly testified that Leake's beliefs were not accepted tenets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Bishop Gale Brimhall of the Langley Ward testified that only appropriate church authorities generally hear messages from angels.
"We do not expect to see prophets in the courtroom," Brimhall testified of Leake's attempt to subpoena 14 pre-Columbian prophets of the church, including Moroni and Mormon.
State law is observed even within the temple, Brimhall told the court, which contradicts Leake's claim to be answerable only to church law for the temple incident.
Psychologist David Shapiro told the court that after consultation with Brigham Young University Professor Robert Howell, he concluded that Leake's assertions were not in accordance with LDS doctrine and that he was suffering delusions that made him not responsible.
Under cross-examination by state's attorney John McCarthy, Shapiro conceded that Leake knew what he was doing and that it was a crime. He also admitted that psychology is not an exact science, and that Leake had concealed any mental problems from his own mother for 28 years.
Under further questioning, Shapiro admitted that such a pattern of delusions is usually seen in people over 45 and generally among women.
McCarthy told the court that Leake was "malingering" to cover his invasion of the temple for simple revenge.