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FELIX TRIAL DAY 13: Testimony ends in trial of alleged cop-killer

Day 13 of the trial of John Hernandez Felix.

FELIX TRIAL DAY 13: Testimony ends in tr

INDIO, Calif.- - Testimony ended Thursday in the trial of an ex-con accused of killing two Palm Springs police officers who responded to a domestic disturbance call at his family's home.

The jury will return to court at the Larson Justice in Indio on Wednesday for jury instructions.  The instructions are expected to take an hour.

Closing statements are set for Thursday, May 16 at 9 a.m. The rest of Thursday and Monday will be spent working on procedural items. 

On Thursday one final witness, a psychologist, took the stand for the defense.  Dr. Michael Gilewski spoke to John Hernandez Felix's auditory impairment, his amphetamine use, and how it may have affected his inclination toward committing the alleged crimes. 

28-year-old John Hernandez Felix is accused of firing an AR-15 rifle at veteran Officer Jose Gilbert Vega, 63, and rookie Officer Lesley Zerebny, 27, from inside the Felix family home in the 2700 block of Cypress Avenue on Oct. 8, 2016, killing both.

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Jake Ingrassia was in court covering the 13th day of the trial - follow his notes from court below: 

 

 

While on the stand, she contended that Felix was not intellectually disabled, and then expanded on his school records.

During Wednesday's testimony, things became tense between the prosecution and defense, as they heatedly discussed the use of an expert witness called to testify for the defense. 

Special Section: Justice for the Fallen   

Dr. Graham Howard, the witness in question, spoke to what Felix's mental state could have been like in a state of being under the influence of methamphetamine. 

The prosecution argued Wednesday during cross-examination that Howard was not qualified to testify on the effects of the drug, that the doctor could only 'speculate' on them. The witness' expertise, was, the prosecution argued, not in the area of chemical compounds. 
   

According to his defense attorneys, Felix was in a state of methamphetamine psychosis during the shooting. He was reportedly taken into custody by police with a meth pipe in his pocket. 

On Monday, forensic toxicologist Ola Bawardi broke down exactly what state of mind someone using methamphetamine may be in Side effects include paranoia and the inability to discern auditory/visual hallucinations that the user is experiencing. 
   
Special Section: In the Line of Duty 

At one point during Wednesday's testimony, Deputy District Attorney Michelle Paradise said that John Dolan, Felix's counsel, had raised his voice toward her and attempted to "intimidate" her. 

The judge admonished both attorneys, tell both of them to not raise their voices, keep their comments to a minimum, and "act civilly."

   
Felix is charged with two counts of murder and six counts of attempted murder, with special circumstance allegations of killing police officers and committing multiple murders. He is facing a possible death sentence if convicted.


Vega and Zerebny were the first Palm Springs police officers killed in the line of duty since Jan. 1, 1962, when Officer Lyle Wayne Larrabee died during a vehicle pursuit. The only other death in the department was that of Officer Gale Gene Eldridge, who was fatally shot on Jan. 18, 1961, while investigating an armed robbery.
   
Felix has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon, for which he served time in state prison.
 


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