The prosecution is attempting to have its psychiatrist look at the medical files of the Winchester father accused of killing his family.
Thomas Mortimer, IV, of his mother-in-law, Ellen Ragna Stone, 64; his wife, Laura Stone Mortimer, 41; his daughter, Charlotte Mortimer, 2; and his son, Thomas “Finn” Mortimer V, 4.
The trial is set to begin on Oct. 2, 2012.
In July of 2010, shortly after his arrest, Mortimer was sent to Bridgewater State University where he under went a psychiatric evaluation. The prosecution wants its independent psychiatrist, Dr. Alison Fife, to look at the files, a motion Mortimer’s defense attorney – Denise Regan – opposes.
“How can the expert write a report with no information,” Assistant District Attorney, Adrienne Lynch asked the court. “If we have to wait until they bring it up at court and don’t have access until mid-trial, are we supposed to stop the trial for two months to give our psychiatrist time to review the records?”
According to Lynch, the prosecution is not allowed to see Mortimer’s psychiatric record unless it’s brought up at trial. However, Lynch said that the prosecution’s expert should have the opportunity to look at those files beforehand.
“This doesn’t negate the ability for our expert to have access to those records,” Lynch said. “I’m not saying this would happen, but it could set up for a phony psychiatric defense. It doesn’t make sense. The defense has placed the issue of his mental state on the table.”
“It’s likely that mental health will be a live issue in this case,” Regan said at the time.
However, Regan objected to the most because she said it would violate Mortimer’s right to privacy.
“This is not meant to be a fishing expedition,” Regan said. “This would allow the Commonwealth to go to every provider in Massachusetts and get his records.
“The Commonwealth is not identifying what they’re seeking for in his medical records. This is a gross infringement on my client’s right to privacy. They basically want to access any records beginning from his birth.”
Judge Joseph Walker informed both attorneys that he would take their arguments under advisement and make a decision on the hearing at a later date.