New York Attorney Blames Victim, Mother, and “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” For Murder

article-2562207-1B9C1A6600000578-636_306x423 article-2562207-1B9C1A6E00000578-344_306x423Attorney Jason Bohn is facing a particularly challenging case. First, the victim was beaten and strangled to death. Second, he is the defendant and the victim was his girlfriend and Danielle Thomas, 27, was killed in their New York City apartment. Bohn, 35, has come up with a novel defense: “intermittent explosive disorder.”

Thomas was a senior analyst at Weight Watchers and had recently moved from Florida to New York to be with Bohn.

article-2562207-1B9C1AAD00000578-524_306x423A defense expert detailed Bohn’s history of IED by testifying that it began with his causing a miscarriage as a 14 year old by punching a pregnant 18-year-old in the stomach. The disorder is claimed to have blocked memories of such acts starting with the attack on the pregnant woman while he was in foster care. He claims to have been traumatized by his mother in his childhood after she abandoned him for her own career. His mother is Scholastic Chief Financial Officer Maureen O’Connell (right). She reportedly makes $1.2 million and has been paying her son’s legal bills.

The trial has a particularly damaging piece of evidence where the final scene is recorded on an accidentally recorded call to a friend. Bohn is heard questioning Thomas about why she called a number with a 508 area code. Bohn then strangles here as she pleads for her life and tries to answer his questions. The building superintendent recalled hearing Taylor scream: “He’s kill me. Somebody help me.” She was later found in a bathtub of ice and Bohn had fled with her cellphone. (According to new reports, Bohn was seen buying ice from a neighborhood store.

Bohn later emailed a friend to assure that Taylor was fine and attending the weekend’s gay pride parade in Greenwich Village. He also called a former girlfriend to say that he was in trouble over hitting Taylor and asking her “Please do not talk with any law enforcement officials until my defense attorneys can contact you. . . . I don’t remember anything that happened, OK. I think I pushed her. She bumped her head. When I woke up the next morning she was not breathing. I freaked out and I fled the city.”

While the defense team is the best that money can buy, he is still has that recorded call which will be hard for a jury to forget.

Then there is his rant against the victim on Facebook after his arrest where Bohn blamed Thomas, stress, alcohol and abuse of his father for the murder. He added that

“I suspected she was a cheater . . . At the very least, I gradually confirmed she was a compulsive liar, particularly with regard to relations with the opposite sex, both past and present. As a result I grew insecure and abusive. In hines-sight [sic] one of us should’ve walked away. But, I was already madly in love with her.”

He portrays himself as pitiful and miserable: “I alternate between crying uncontrollably in my cell while I stare at her office building from my window to fighting with other inmates over food.”

Many may find the concept of intermittent explosive disorder is bit too convenient for criminal defendants who have a history of violent outbursts. It is also unclear how this disorder can factor into the guilt stage without excusing any violent act. The sentencing stage on the other hand allows the full range of childhood and emotional issues to be considered. Since Bohn is not denying the murder, he is putting all of his case on the disorder and the hopes of a lesser sentence. The question will be whether that recording will continue to resonate in the courtroom so loudly to drown out the claim.

Source: Daily Mail

30 thoughts on “New York Attorney Blames Victim, Mother, and “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” For Murder”

  1. I agree about his mother. It’s unreal how she can even go to work each day and feel good about herself. You’ve got to wonder what the leadership at Scholastic thinks about all of this??

  2. I wish someone would do a movie on her life. I’ve tried to find out more about her but the Internet shows only her professional stature. Her life story would be a real case study!

  3. His mother is a disposable woman! Shame on her! Scholastic should fire her immediately.

  4. What a mother he had..She should be ashamed of herself. No one us talking about her. He asked her help and she ignored him because she was too busy with her career. He was an addict for a father and was put on foster homes and she didn’t care? She is a piece of work. Happy Mother’s Day to her.

  5. Much of what passes for innovative thought is simply a renaming of old ideas. In an earlier time, a person suffering from “intermittent explosive disorder” would simply be deemed “out of control”, less intellectual sounding, but sooooo much more descriptive. I wonder if it occurred to defense counsel that intermittent explosive disorder abbreviates to IED.

  6. Just because a person is diagnosed as having a mental health disorder, it is not automatically exculpable.

    Hitting a pregnant woman and causing her to miscarry: Now that’s something I would definately not want brought up if I was this guy’s attorney, much less it being used as a defense.

  7. I can relate to that. Kinda like the “Affulenza” defense or the “Twinki” defense. If you can’t escape guilt, and you can’t try the cops, then inventing a new defense. Anyone taking bets as to whether or not this defense will fly?

  8. Intermittent Explosive Disorder. Voluntary Termination. Affluenza. Has the world gone crazy or is it just the United States? It seems like up is down, in is out, off is on and right is wrong anymore.

  9. Let me see if I am getting this straight. This guy intends to introduce evidence that, when he was 14, he punched a pregnant 18 year old woman in the stomach causing a miscarriage, and this is somehow supposed to get a reduced sentence for his murder of Thomas? I’m not liking his chances.

  10. The only answer for this crime is ‘Intermittent lethal injection”. That would set a precedent for the next time someone abuses the position of lawyer, with money, and in the end, simply says, I lost my temper. Or, if you don’t believe in the death penalty, intermittent life in prison, with no parole. We have just got to stop people killing people in this country and getting off because of a stupid Attorney General who goes with a charge impossible to convict on instead of the appropriate charge or some bogus defense created by someone who has, perhaps, more responsibility to follow the law than the average person.

    The fact that his murderer is a lawyer should work against him, not for him.

  11. This fellow is in real trouble. My experience as lawyer and judge is that if the jury is convinced of IED or other psychotic-like condition then he is going away for a long time because he is simply an uncontrollable danger to anyone and everyone.

  12. That is actually a diagnosis, and I have seen it attempted as a defense. I hate to be the bearer of bad news for the defense, but it won’t work. After more than forty years of working on thousands of criminal cases, I have seen all kinds of novel defenses in attempts to be NGRI, or at least, mitigating. In my experience, “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” is the least likely to be successful.

    Here is a little information on it from the NIMH:

  13. There’s no doubt this guy is pathological, but then we go back to the age-old is he sane ? Personally my belief is he should just be put away in that in-limbo mode of “we are not sure where he fits in, but he shouldn’t be out in society” – we could include a lot of politicians in that camp also !! Oh well one can but hope for justice !

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