Kidnapper, Murderer Has Multiple Personalities, Schizophrenia, Says Expert

Jeremy Bentley, an Alabama man arrested and tried in 2005 for kidnapping and capital murder, continues to show signs of multiple personalities and should be considered mentally ill, according to testimony before a Mobile County Circuit Court judge earlier this month.

Bentley was accused of kidnapping and strangling 24-year-old Jamie Ray Tolbert over New Years in 2000, but in 2005 was found not guilty by reason of insanity. He has spent the last seven years at Taylor Hardin Secure Medical Facility, but the Alabama Department of Mental Health has been pushing for his release, arguing that he faked insanity from the start and is receiving no benefit from treatment. Furthermore, psychological professionals who have been working with and evaluating Bentley at Taylor Hardin have testified that he is capable of future violence and lacks empathy for others, but cannot be considered mentally ill.

Psychologist Marianne Rosenzweig testified that one of his personalities is currently in control most of the time, in order to gain release from the hospital, but she fears that some of his more violent and psychotic personalities (which can sometimes remain dormant for years) may resurface and lead him to violence once again. She further argued that any staffmembers at Taylor Hardin who believe he is not mentally ill are willfully ignoring vital symptoms, and that paperwork shows that the staff prepared records with the ultimate aim of securing Bentley's release. In addition to dissociative identity disorder (multiple personalities), Dr. Rosenzweig diagnosed Bentley with paranoid schizophrenia.

Dr. Rosenzweig was called before the judge by the Mobile County District Attorney, who is trying to block Bentley's release. Because he was found not guilty, if he is released from the mental health facility, he cannot be tried again.

Source: Mobile Press-Register

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