Mental Tests Important in M’Neill Case

As reported in the Riverside Enterprise – Thursday, October 1, 1936

Alienists Examine Man Held on Wife Killing Charge for Trial

Three alienists upon whose testimony probably will hinge a jury’s decision on the mental status of John McNeill, Temecula blacksmith and deputy constable, when he comus up for trial on Oct. 20 in the superior court on a wife murder charge, have made their preliminary examinations of the defendant in the county jail here, it was learned yesterday.

Two of the three members of the sanity commission are Dr. Phillip Corr and Dr. Wayland Ceon of Riverside.  The third is Dr. Fletcher Van Meter of the Norwalk state institute for the insane wo has testified in numerous criminal cases here.  They were appointed by Superior Judge O.K. Morton after McNeill entered the double plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.  A plea may be made by McNeill has been indicated.

If he is found not guilty in this trial he will be freed without further court hearings.  However, if he is found guilty he then must face a jury on the question of his sanity.  If he should be found sane he then would stand convicted of the murder of which he would have been previously found guilty.  If found insane, he would be committed to a state institution for the criminal insane.

McNeill was arrested after he fatally beat his wife, Mrs. Melvey McNeill in their home at Temecula.

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Published in: on February 6, 2011 at 12:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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