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Man’s guilty but mentally ill conviction upheld

April 29, 2014

The Indiana Court of Appeals declined to reweigh the evidence that led to a man being found guilty but mentally ill of murder and battery. Jamal Ahmad Gore argued he should have been found not guilty by reason of insanity.

Gore, who is schizophrenic, has a history of mental health issues. He had been hospitalized at least five times by his family due to mental health reasons. In May 2010, Gore called high school friend John Davis Jr. to pick him up. Davis and his girlfriend, Melissa Maida, drove Gore around to look for marijuana. They noted that he was dressed all in black and warmly for the weather, but did not seem agitated. As Maida drove down the road, Gore shot Davis multiple times and shot Maida in the leg. He jumped out of the car, and police caught him a few blocks away. Davis died from his injuries.

Gore was initially not found competent to stand trial, but was restored to competency. At his trial, four experts testified. The jury concluded he was guilty but mentally ill.

“The testimony did not, as Gore asserts, reflect that three experts found Gore insane and one expert provided no opinion. On the contrary, it showed Dr. Calloway applied an incorrect standard, Dr. Miller testified Gore’s ability to appreciate wrongfulness “might” have been affected by his mental illness, Dr. Caruana testified Gore was not insane, and Dr. Prasad testified Gore was insane based on his interviews with Gore’s mother and cousin. The disagreement among the experts as to whether Gore was insane at the time of his offense amounts to an evidentiary conflict,” Judge Melissa May wrote in Jamal Ahmad Gore v. State of Indiana, 45A03-1305-CR-163. “This is not a case of consistent testimony leading only to the conclusion Gore was insane. Therefore, Gore is essentially asking that we reweigh the evidence, which we cannot do.”
 
 

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