His Defense Claims He Was Having A Psychotic Episode
A bizarre case in Virginia has officials and jury members puzzled to the point where a mistrial was declared.
According to News4, 34-year-old Pankaj Bhasin was charged with killing store manager Bradford Jackson on July 13, 2018. Bhasin said the reason he committed the murder was because he thought Jackson was a werewolf.
The case was extremely brutal with Bhasin allegedly stabbing Jackson 52 TIMES with a box cutter. He also went on to beat him and break his neck, police reported.
The whole incident occurred days after Bhasin checked out of a psychiatric hospital. On the murder date, he left his New Jersey home and drove to the D.C. area, say attorneys.
Bhasin reportedly stopped at the Four Seasons in Georgetown. The hotel staff called security after Bhasin told them that “people are going to die.” He also said, “It’s going to be a bad day,” according to attorneys.
Two hours later, Bhasin drove to Old Town, Virginia and ascended a flight of stairs to Jackson’s office at Window Universe. Bhasin then said that Jackson asked him “What are you doing here? Get the f**k out,” according to a forensic psychologist who testified in court.
This is when Bhasin allegedly stabbed Jackson multiple times, beat him and broke his neck.
Bhasin’s defense in the case tried to prove that he was not in his right mind at the time. The forensic psychologist and a forensic psychiatrist testified for the defense that Bhasin has bipolar disorder. They said they believe Bhasin was in the middle of a psychotic episode and suffered from delusions when he killed Jackson.
On the other side, the prosecution agreed that Bhasin was mentally ill, but they questioned “was he insane on July 13?” They argued that Bhasin’s threat at the Four Seasons prove he had premeditated the murder, and they urged jurors to label him guilty of first-degree murder.
Either way, both sides agree that Bhasin slashed Jackson on that day and beat him up.
Ultimately, the jury could not decide on Bhasin’s fate. They deliberated for three days then told the judge on Wednesday morning that they were hung and couldn’t reach a unanimous decision. The judge insisted they take a break and then continue deliberating. However, after around three hours, the jurors still said they couldn’t come to a decision. The judge declared a mistrial.
“Brad was a great guy. He would have never instigated anything with anyone,” Jackson’s friend Erin Kennedy told News4 on Tuesday. “I would never ever see that coming from him. And to have this guy beat the life out of him, stab him post mortem is disgusting.”