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Lawyers to argue about psychologist in newspaper attack case

Lawyers are scheduled to argue about whether a psychologist’s observations about a man who killed five people at a Maryland newspaper should be heard by jurors who will decide whether he’s criminally responsible because of his mental health.

A pretrial hearing set for Wednesday relates to the second part of the case against Jarrod Ramos, who already has pleaded guilty to killing five at the Capital Gazette newspaper in 2018.

Dr. Gregory Saathoff, who was retained by prosecutors, interviewed employees at a detention center. He also looked into Ramos’ cell. His observations were used to support his conclusions that Ramos is criminally responsible.

Defense attorneys contend Saathoff’s testimony shouldn’t be heard by jurors. They say peering into the cell amounted to an illegal search.

Prosecutors say simply looking through the window of a jail cell isn't a search.

The sanity phase was postponed until December because of the coronavirus pandemic.