Doctor testifies Grabe ignored spiritual advice

Allen Grabe

A doctor testified Friday that Allen Grabe insisted Jesus urged Grabe not to murder his son.

The Pear Park father and professed Christian “had to overcome” that advice in pulling the trigger in September 2008, according to a doctor’s testimony in Grabe’s murder trial.

“In my estimation, if you know Jesus, God or whatever deity tells you not to do something, and you do it, that’s pretty indicative of his acknowledgment of wrongfulness,” Dr. Hal Wortzel, a Denver-based forensic psychiatrist, told jurors.

Wortzel concluded Grabe was “remarkably unremarkable” and likely suffering from a stress-related, mental-health disorder at the time of the shooting, but he was sane as defined in Colorado criminal law.

Grabe, 53, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the Sept. 11, 2008, slaying of his son, Jacob, 13. The boy was shot nine times in his bed by his father, who declared to his wife he had to kill the boy because she was ruining him.

Wortzel was one of three doctors who performed evaluations of Grabe’s sanity, and his findings in the case were in the minority. Two other doctors concluded Grabe was insane at the time of the shooting, but for differing reasons.

Under Colorado law, insanity is defined as being “diseased or defective of the mind” at the time a crime was committed. At the same time, the person must have been incapable of telling right from wrong.

Steve Colvin, Grabe’s public defender, suggested Wortzel’s analysis of Grabe was skewed from the start, noting prosecutors introduced the case to him with a letter that asked the doctor to determine whether Grabe was “malingering,” or faking his symptoms of insanity.

Grabe’s case is expected to go to the jury next week.


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