Two jail inmates are set to testify in the murder trial of a 39-year-old Knoxville resident. The courts allowed a request Tuesday by Steven Dean McGinnis’ attorneys to allow the inmates to testify, after state objection to the request. The inmates spent time with McGinnis after he was arrested and charged in the September, 2008 shooting death of Knoxville resident Robert Ohl.
McGinnis, a Gulf War veteran, has been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Witnesses called to the stand Tuesday included a psychiatrist for the VA Medical Center who prescribed medication for McGinnis’ depression and PTSD, and a VA counselor who worked with McGinnis.
One of the positions of the defense is that McGinnis did not remember shooting Ohl at the time of the incident because he relapsed into a PTSD episode, which can affect memory. The state intends to prove that McGinnis was not suffering from PTSD symptoms during the shooting, but acted knowing the consequences.