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Trial for accused double ax-murderer underway

Published On: Jan 29 2014 09:21:18 PM CST
Double murder trial underway
REDDING, Calif. -

The trial for accused double murderer Thomas Mcdonald was underway Wednesday at the Shasta County courthouse.

Mcdonald is accused of murdering Karl Bradshaw and Ralph Torborg with an ax in Mountain Gate in February 2012.

Mcdonald is also charged with stabbing his housemate, Captain Ricks, as well as the man he referred to as “dad” and “grandpa”, Garry St. Pierre, with a barbeque fork.

During opening statements, Mcdonald’s attorney told the jury “There’s no dispute Mr. Bradshaw and Mr. Torborg died at the hands of my client.”

Defense attorney Adam Ryan went on to describe previous mental illnesses Mcdonald had been diagnosed with, which included: schizophrenia, anti-social behavior, hallucinations and paranoia.

The accused double murderer seemed relaxed while intently listening to testimony given by witnesses throughout the day.

The prosecution displayed a replica wood-splitting ax, nearly identical to the one used in the attacks. The long-handled ax used by Mcdonald, had been purchased just one day before the Feb. 28 incident, by his landlord Garry St. Pierre.

St. Pierre is one of the men stabbed by Mcdonald. He testified he was struck at least twice in his face.

St. Pierre also testified as to what he saw on the defendants television screen the morning of the attacks. He said the movie Halloween was up on the menu screen Mcdonald was watching.

St. Pierre explained to the jury that he thought Mcdonald had probably been watching the gory horror film all night.

The man who had considered himself a caregiver of Mcdonald began crying when asked to recall the scuffle and subsequent stabbing.

St. Pierre also stated to the jury that a few days prior to the murders, he watched Mcdonald eat raw meat. He added that Mcdonald had previously cut his mouth from attempting to eat a CD.

During the defense attorney’s cross examination of St. Pierre, they discussed Mcdonalds medication use leading up to the time when he lashed out.

The trial will continue tomorrow morning at 8:45.