Attorney: Wyoming Defendant in Double-Slaying Was High on ‘Spice’
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A defense attorney says a 19-year-old Wyoming man charged in a double slaying on Montana's Crow Reservation was high on a drug that can cause psychotic episodes at the time of his arrest.
Jesus Deniz Mendoza of Worland faces trial March 27 in the shooting deaths of Jason and Tana Shane near Pryor.
Federal Defender David Merchant said in a court filing that evidence suggests Mendoza ingested "a considerable amount" of the synthetic drug spice before his arrest in the July 2015 killings. He was arrested 2 ½ hours after the killings.
The defense plans to introduce testimony from Penn State University researcher Antolin Llorente saying spice can cause psychotic episodes and delusions.
Mendoza has said he will rely on an insanity defense at trial. Merchant says Mendoza previously was diagnosed with schizophrenia, depression and post-traumatic syndrome.