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Psychologist: Murder suspect was not incapacitated

POULSBO — Murder suspect Casey Cutlip was not mentally incapacitated when he allegedly shot Darwin Dunker, according to the state’s forensic psychological evaluation.

Cutlip is charged with first-degree murder for allegedly shooting Dunker in the head on Feb. 21, 2012. Cutlip called 9-1-1 and confessed to the shooting. In psychological evaluations and interviews, Cutlip said he has no memory of the shooting. His blood alcohol level was .14, according to the toxicology report.

Cutlip said he “snapped” because Dunker made a sexual advance toward him, triggering memories of past sexual abuse by his stepfather, according to the state’s psychological report.

The state’s psychologist, Gregg Gagliardi, does not think Cutlip suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder related to childhood sexual abuse. The abuse was never reported “and hence never investigated,” Gagliardi noted. Cutlip has been treated for depression for the past eight years, but Cutlip’s psychologist has never referenced PTSD in his notes, Gagliardi noted.

Cutlip, 57, is a retired construction worker who has been on Social Security disability since 1984. He suffered a head injury in a vehicle collision when he was 9, and his skull was fractured in a motorcycle accident in 1986. In the psychological report, Cutlip states he has had memory problems since those accidents.

Cutlip was interviewed by Gagliardi last summer; he reported a poor memory of the incident and does not remember his confession to the 9-1-1 operator or police officers. He said he began drinking at noon and smoked marijuana the day of the shooting.

“He recalls that at some point, the victim touched his leg. He states that his next memory was hearing ‘bang, bang, bang.’ He states that his next memory is seeing his pickup truck and noticing that his hands were cuffed behind him,” according to the report.

Cutlip’s wife told police and Gagliardi she called 9-1-1 when Cutlip returned home to get his pistol. She tried to stop him from leaving, but her husband fired a shot at the wall, “apparently to stop her interference.” She called police but did not have Dunker’s address.

The insanity defense stipulates the defendant must be “unable to perceive the nature and quality of the act with which he is charged” and “unable to tell right from wrong with reference to particular act charged.”

Gagliardi reports that at the time of the homicide, the defendant “clearly had the capacity to perceive the nature and quality of the shooting, and he clearly had the capacity to tell right from wrong with reference to the shooting.”

“There is no doubt that Mr. Cutlip had the capacity to form the mental state of ‘premeditated intent’ at the time of the homicide.” Gagliardi reports.

However, based on Cutlip’s clinical history and his lack of a criminal record, Gagliardi does not believe Cutlip is at risk for future offense. “He is unlikely to be violent except when he is very intoxicated and provoked,” he said.

Cutlip’s trial was moved to Sept. 16 at 9 a.m. His defense attorney, Tina Robinson, said he will plead not guilty by reason of insanity. She said there is no timeline yet for when the defense will file its psychological evaluation. She had no other comment on the state’s evaluation.

Cutlip remains in Kitsap County Jail on $1 million bail.

 

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