Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Lawyer says alleged dog killer was mentally ill

This man used chainsaws on dogs but now wants to plead insanity??!??!!? Someone should use a chainsaw on him!

By JENNIFER MILLER, Staff Writer

COATESVILLE — During a preliminary hearing Wednesday with unusually high security, a prosecutor argued that a city man not only dealt drugs from his home and illegally possessed guns, but he also killed and mutilated two dogs there.

But the defense attorney for 29-year-old Laquanta "Quan" Chapman of Coatesville attempted to prove to Magisterial District Judge Robert Davis that his client was mentally ill the day he was arrested.

Davis, however, ordered Chapman bound over to Common Pleas Court for trial on all charges at the conclusion of the hearing.

When Chapman was brought into the courtroom, he was accompanied by two Chester County deputy sheriffs, in addition to four state constables who were already in the courtroom. Typically, there are only one or two constables present during District Court proceedings.

Coatesville Detective Sgt. Chris McEvoy testified that when investigators and the Western Chester County Emergency Response Team raided Chapman's Chester Avenue home on Nov. 15, officers discovered a slew of drug packaging materials such as jars and plastic bags, as well as a quantity of marijuana and seven firearms, including sawed-off shotguns and a rifle with a laser scope duct taped to it.

Two of the guns were stolen, police said.

McEvoy said when police

arrived Chapman was in the home wearing a bulletproof vest, a holster holding a loaded handgun and had a handgun in his pocket. Chapman, a convicted felon, cannot legally possess any firearms.

During the search, police also discovered a mutilated dog carcass in a trash bag inside the house, McEvoy said. During an interview after the arrest, Chapman allegedly described for investigators how he killed two dogs.

McEvoy said Chapman told him on two separate occasions he beat the dogs and then mutilated their bodies with a chainsaw.

"The first dog he told me he used it to fight in his garage and it didn't perform well. Based on that, he felt he had to put it down," McEvoy said. "He said he used a pipe at one point. He said he used a chainsaw at one point. He said he shot the animal. He told me that he cut up the dogs with the chainsaw."

The first dog Chapman allegedly killed was taken outside and left for trash collectors, court records say. Investigators located three chainsaws — two of which were in the basement.

"They appeared to have been used. There appeared to be blood evidence on them," McEvoy said. "There was blood evidence located throughout the basement, which, in my opinion, would be consistent with Mr. Chapman's story."

Chapman's attorney, Christian Hoey of Paoli, questioned McEvoy several times about how the detective handled two interviews with Chapman following his arrest. Hoey used information in the search warrant to argue the detective had reason to believe his client was not mentally sound.

The warrant outlines an undercover investigation into the drug-dealing activity that police allege Chapman conducted from his garage. Specifically, on Sept. 23, while police were conducting surveillance, Chapman was observed lifting a "blue tarp, which covered the entrance of the garage, draping the tarp over his neck looking up and down Palmer Alley acting in an irrational/paranoid manner," the warrant states.

Hoey argued the observation should have signaled to investigators Chapman may need mental health treatment.

"At any point in time (during interviews) was a mental health professional contacted?" Hoey asked.

"No," McEvoy said.

After the hearing, Hoey said his client suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

However, First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Carmody said after the hearing there is no evidence to support Hoey's argument.

"There's nothing to support Chapman should be excused from culpability of the crimes due to a mental illness," Carmody said.

Before the hearing, Carmody amended the charges against Chapman and co-defendant Bryan Byrd, 19, of Newark, N.J., who was also arrested the same day.

For Chapman, he is currently charged with killing or maiming a domestic animal, animal cruelty related to dog fighting, nine counts of a possession of an instrument of crime, various weapon and drug charges, and conspiracy for all charges.

Byrd, who waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday, faces various weapons and drug charges as well as conspiracy charges. Carmody said his involvement with the deceased dogs included helping Chapman disposing of the carcasses.

Byrd, according to police, had been staying in the home for two to three weeks.

Since police arrested Chapman Nov. 15 his case has been before three different judges. The appearances included his arraignment and two bail hearings where judges increased his bail based on the severity of the charges and his lengthy criminal record in New Jersey, according to the district attorney's office, which requested the bail increases.

Currently, Chapman is being held at Chester County Prison in lieu of $750,000 bail. Byrd's bail has remained at $100,000.

The warrant outlining Chapman's alleged drug-dealing activity also describes a hostage situation involving a confidential informant that reportedly occurred in August. The informant told police they were held against their will in Chapman's garage while surrounded by Chapman and others who were armed with guns, the warrant states.

The informant was confronted about a shotgun Chapman reportedly lent to the informant on a previous occasion. Chapman allegedly threatened to kill the informant if they did not pay him $2,000 and two ounces of cocaine by midnight.

In addition to the sheriff's deputies and the additional state constables, a Chester County Detective sat in the courtroom until the proceedings began. Chapman's parents also attended the hearing, but were asked to leave because they own the house where the crimes allegedly occurred.

To contact staff writer Jennifer Miller, send an e-mail to jmiller@dailylocal.com.

1 comment:

Little Mr Everydog said...

do know how much it takes to use a chainsaw on an animal as small as a dog and to keep them still no way an insane person could do this and not PLAN to do it in advance. sick sick sick people. now this is a care of animal and human abuse connection unlike hsus's bs connections. this guy was prob practicing. but hsus tends to keep saying that people who abuse animals will abuse people but they hire people who have been convicted of violent crimes against humans to protect animals John Goodwin for one. look at the creator of animal Prescinct David Garcia of dallas spca who was the john goodwin of texas. He was convicted of kidnapping and raping a minor and 5+ dui's in 3 states. where the connection between animal extremist and human and child abuse? UCLA any one?