by SEAN I. MILLS Staff writer
A psychiatrist at St. Elizabeth Medical Center who examined accused child-killer David L. Trebilcock within hours of the stabbing death of a 6-year-old girl has refused to speak with the District Attorney’s Office, with less than two weeks before Trebilcock’s County Court trial.
Dr. Suresh Rayancha is claiming doctor/patient confidentiality, and Trebilcock has refused to sign a release, according to First Assistant District Attorney Dawn Catera-Lupi, the prosecutor.
"The one (doctor) that may not be in his favor, he won’t let him speak to us," Lupi told County Court Judge Michael L. Dwyer this morning.
Lupi said that Rayancha examined Trebilcock upon his arrival to St. Elizabeth’s as part of a routine screening. Rayancha determined that Trebilcock was "malingering," or feigning an illness, Lupi stated.
"I don’t even know if I’m going to call him at trial, but I can’t make that determination" until she has met with the doctor, Lupi stated.
Public Defender Patrick Marthage said that Lupi has the right to subpoena Rayancha to appear at trial, but Trebilcock is not required to sign a release allowing the doctor to speak with the prosecution. So Lupi is asking for Judge Dwyer to issue a court order for Dr. Rayancha to speak.
Dwyer reserved his decision on the court order until he has further reviewed the law.
Dwyer will also be the only person to determine Trebilcock’s guilt or innocence after Trebilcock requested a non-jury trial this morning. Dwyer accepted Trebilcock’s request. The trial will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
"I would be the finder of the facts," Dwyer told Trebilcock this morning. "I will have to evaluate the psychiatric evidence."
Marthage explained that Trebilcock decided to waive the jury trial "due to the emotionally-charged nature of these charges." The defense believes that a jury of men and women from the community would not be able to look past the murder of a 6-year-old girl to see the legal defense that Trebilcock is "not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect," Marthage told the judge.
Dwyer warned Trebilcock that "If I make the decision and the decision doesn’t go your way, you’re going to have to live" with the judge’s decision.
Trebilcock told the judge he understood.
Marthage said he will call four psychiatric witnesses to testify at the trial, including forensic psychiatrist Dr. Lawrence Farago, who is the District Attorney’s go-to psychiatrist for examining defendants. The defense is arguing that Trebilcock suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and he was not in a right state of mind when Belius was stabbed to death in Sherrill on the morning of July 19. Trebilcock later told law enforcers that God and Jesus told him to kill Belius.
Trebilcock faces 25 years to life in prison if he is found guilty by Judge Dwyer. The trial is expected to take at least one week.