Medical Experts Disagree in Arterburn Trial


Bradley Arterburn listens in while the Defense presents it’s closing arguments on Tuesday afternoon. (photo by Ken Allsup/Oskaloosa News)

by Amy Langdon

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Bradley Arterburn trial continues in Oskaloosa. Arterburn is accused of murdering his mother’s boyfriend with an ax on June 19th of 2011.

Medical experts clashed on the stand Tuesday over whether Brad Arterburn was in control of his actions on the night of June 11, 2011.

The prosecution called Dr. James Dennert, a psychiatrist who had evaluated Arterburn in early September of 2012.

Dr. Dennert said that at the time of the crime, Arterburn was not suffering from a psychiatric illness or mental illness that would prevent him from knowing the nature and consequences of his actions and that he knew the difference between right and wrong.

Dennert pointed out the inconsistencies between Arterburn’s testimony and the interview he gave the night of the murder. Dennert said on that night Arterburn didn’t mention anything about Dave Myers being present as Arterburn injured Horovitz. Dennert also said there was no evidence that Arterburn was having a flashblack at the time of the murder.

Dennert has treated patients with PTSD who suffer from intense flashblacks where they believe they are back at a point of previous trauma. Dennert asserts that witness Linda Arterburn’s testimony didn’t suggest that Brad Arterburn believed he was being threatened by his abuser, Dave Myers.

Witness for the defense Dr. Craig Rypma, a clinical and forensic psycologist, disagreed with Dennert’s assumptions and said Arterburn’s actions show he was suffering from either a blackout, a psychotic break.

When asked about Arterburn being aware of what he had done and who he had done it to when interviewed by Agent Adam DeCamp on the night of the murder, Dr. Rypma said DeCamp questions were leading and offered answers to Arterburn that he didn’t know himself. Rypma said Arterburn was clearly confused at the time of the recorded interview and could have still been in a dissociative state.

Following Rypma’s testimony, the defense rested. Tuesday afternoon, the jury received its instructions for reaching its conclusion. During its deliberations, the jury will be deciding between “Guilty” and “Not Guilty By Reason of Insanity”.

The defense and prosecution gave their closing arguments, both summarizing the evidence previously presented in the case.

Court will resume at 8:30 Wednesday morning. At that time, the jury will receive additional instructions and will then begin deliberating.



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