Cook trial continues

BRYAN CLARK Spirit Staff

CHARLES TOWN – The trial of a Harpers Ferry man who is accused of killing a Martinsburg woman last year continued into its eighth day Thursday without entering into closing arguments.

Ray Dwayne Cook is accused of first degree murder.

Ray Dwayne Cook, 38, admits to shooting Jenny Lou Perrine, 36, on July 15, 2011 in the parking lot of the Southern States Coop, but his defense claims he cannot be found guilty of first degree murder because he suffered from bipolar disorder and was not capable of forming malice or premeditating the killing.

Though both prosecutors and Cook’s defense have rested their cases, the prosecution chose to call their expert witness, forensic psychologist Dr. David Clayman, as a rebuttal witness, rather than during the presentation of their case.

Thursday’s proceedings were occupied principally by cross-examination of the state’s psychologist by Kevin Mills, Cook’s lead attorney.

Clayman had testified that, contrary to claims by the defense’s expert witnesses, Cook does not suffer from bipolar disorder, but was merely extremely upset by his breakup with Perrine. Cook had a “passive dependent” relationship with Perrine, Clayman testified, which did not prevent him from forming malice or premeditating the killing.

Mills cross-examined Clayman vigorously, pointing out several errors he had made while diagnosing Cook.

Mills pointed out that Clayman asked Cook repeatedly about the effects he experienced while taking Sinequan, an anti-depression medication. Cook was not taking Sinequan, however, but Seraquel, an anti-psychotic medication.

Mills also accused Clayman of asking leading questions of Cook and pointed out that he had left his recorder off for portions of his interview.

Finally, Mills asked whether the content of “thousands of text messages that were destroyed due to the mishandling of evidence by the state” may have contained information which could have caused him to change his opinion. Clayman admitted that they may have.

The trial is expected to continue tomorrow. The jury will likely retire for deliberations and return a verdict in the case later this week or early next week.

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