VALLEJO — A neuropsychologist testified Monday that a woman standing trial for a pair of murder charges had a “passive and nonviolent personality style” and was not a danger to the community.
The testimony of Dr. Howard J. Friedman came on the second day of defense testimony in the trial of Paige Linville.
Authorities believe Linville joined her boyfriend, Mario Moreno, in a 2007 methamphetamine-fueled spree that included killing a woman in Cordelia and another in Dixon several hours later.
Friedman testified that his conclusions were based largely on two jailhouse interviews he did with Linville, one in 2011 and the other in 2012, more than three years after the killings.
While awaiting murder charges, Linville told the neuropsychologist that she had been raped when she was 9 and had suffered from low self-image and from eating disorders in her teen years.
Linville’s defense attorney, Amy Morton, has told jurors that Linville was very passive and easily manipulated, while Moreno was dominant and controlling.
Linville told Friedman that she witnessed the murder in Cordelia, which Friedman said triggered Linville’s long-standing post-traumatic stress disorder.
“She divorced herself of some awareness of emotional issues,” Friedman said of Linville’s response to the killing. “She was denying to herself that (Moreno) was dangerous to her . . . . She believed she could not leave and, in a sense, she was being controlled by him.”
Friedman, who is being paid $600 an hour for his testimony, is expected to return to the witness stand Tuesday morning when the trial resumes.
Moreno, who took a plea deal to testify against Linville, is also expected to testify Tuesday. He faces a maximum 32-year prison sentence for a pair of felony manslaughter charges to which he has pleaded no contest.
Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.