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Psychiatrist: Alleged Murderer Kori Muhammad Has Faked Mental Illness

FRESNO, Calif. - Kori Muhammad's mental competency trial continued on Tuesday in Fresno. A judge will determine if he's able to stand trial for the murder of four people, including three white men in Downtown Fresno. The court heard from one psychiatrist who says he believes Muhammad is faking his mental illness.

It was difficult, at least twice, for the alleged murdered to remain silent in court.

Judge Jonathan B. Conklin reprimanded Muhammad and said, "A third outburst, a spontaneous statement, then I'm going to ask you to be removed, okay? So, I'm notifying you that you've had one."

Dr. Richard Kendall was the first to take the stand on day two of the trial. The forensic psychologist testified on behalf of the defense, and said Muhammad is psychotic and likely cannot stand trial.

"He is not presently able to understand the nature of the purpose of the proceedings, and that he cannot assist his counsel," stated Kendall.

But Dr. Michael Barnett, a psychiatrist who was called upon by the Fresno County District Attorney's office, said he interviewed Muhammad in 2012 after Muhammad had been arrested on weapons and drug charges. He said he found that Muhammad had substance abuse issues and is a malingerer, meaning he creates symptoms that are made up to get himself out of a situation.

Barnett stated, "He had no psychiatric distress, his responses were coherent and organized, there were no symptoms of depression."

The doctor also said Muhammed told him in regards to his previous charges, "I was playing like I was crazy when I cut my case."

The DA also brought on investigators with their office, who essentially said Muhammad seems to only have outbursts when cameras are in court.

The mental competency trial continues on Wednesday. We can expect Judge Conklin to determine if Muhammad is mentally competent to stand trial on Thursday. If he finds the alleged killer is unable to stand trial, Muhammad will be sent to a state hospital until he can.


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