Doctor Believes Swartout Suffers from Disorder

February 1, 2012

By Jennifer Richardson

EUGENE, Ore. — Medical professionals took the stand for the defense as the Angelica Swartout murder trial moves into its eighth day.

Swartout is accused of smothering her baby and disposing of the body in a dumpster.

The defense rested its case Wednesday afternoon. The prosecution plans to call one more witness.

The jury already heard from a couple of gynecologists during this trial.

Another took the stand to say she believes Swartout suffered from pseudocyesis, a condition where a non-pregnant woman believes that she is pregnant.

Dr. Lani Miller says she interviewed Swartout and that Swartout told her she gave birth.

After questioning Swartout about what it’s like to give live birth, Dr. Miller came to the conclusion “there was no way she was pregnant, that she was pretty mixed up and suffered from a mental disorder.”

The prosecution tried to disprove the diagnosis by saying instead of truly believing she was pregnant, she just plotted and lied about it.

A professor of psychology also testified about false confessions, saying studies show there are a number of factors that lead people to falsely confess.

In a hypothetical scenario he agreed some of Swartout’s traits such as depression, sleep deprivation and psychological age could contribute to a false confession.

The prosecution rebutted that by saying, wouldn’t someone who was guilty also want to confess because they were guilty.

Closing arguments are expected to happen Thursday, and then the jurors will begin their deliberation.

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