JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The suspect in a random shooting spree Zebulum James made his testimony Thursday afternoon at the Hinds County Courthouse trying to convince jurors his mental illness lead to the crime.
A big discussion point was his history of smoking marijuana and us breakdown the testimony.
Since Zebulum James choose to represent himself he testified on his behalf while also calling a neighbor to the stand as a witness revolving around whether he truly had no control of his actions or voluntarily stopped taking his medication.
As he took the stand James pointed to his first major mental challenges back in his high school days pushing him down a bad path.
“When I went to Brentwood in High School and suffered from a psychotic episode,” James stated. “And honestly in most people’s opinion never showed back. People say because of a toxic environment, some people might say Marijuana but that’s still never proven.”
The prosecution claims he was also on drugs that night, but James pointed to his long history of smoking marijuana which couldn’t have caused his outburst that night in 2015.
“It’s shameful and horrible things occurred that night I can never take back,” James argued. “Of course as it’s known and documented I was on suicide per caution for a long time.”
James also called Dr. Benjamin Allen Root Jr. To the stand who was the psychiatrist working with him back in 2016. He later deemed James schizophrenic.
“He is not at combatant to assist in his own defense,” Dr. Root Jr. said. “He is not capable of understanding the nature of the proceedings and inconsistently. He is still distracted by hallucinations and delusions. His mental state at the time of the alleged offense was that he did not know the difference between right and wrong.”
The other witness called to testify was Ruby Addison who had bullets shot in her home by James the day he began his shooting spree.
“My daughter starting hollering somebody is shooting at the house,” Addison said. “I ran to the front because I was in the back. By the time I got to the front she was at the door and said get down he’s got a gun.”
In his response to question Addison, James asked her about her previous interactions with him seeing no intentional threat before. This met many sustained objections from the prosecution.
The hearing for both sides to make closing statements will begin Friday morning inside the Hinds County Courthouse at 9:00 P.M