A forensic psychiatrist had a succinct explanation on Wednesday as to why Arthur Lomando killed his ex-girlfriend with a machete-style knife at her Midland Park home three years ago.
“He knew it was wrong. He just didn’t care,” Dr. Steven Simring testified.
The doctor said Lomando’s intentions were clear when he drove 70 miles from his Long Island home to Suzanne Bardzell’s house in Midland Park.
More: Timeline of events preceding the murder of Suzanne Bardzell
He had the presence of mind to know when she would be home from her teaching job at Community High School in Teaneck, Simring added. And when Lomando emerged from the bushes to stab Bardzell more than 30 times, he had no cognitive dysfunction.
“He is rageful,” Simring said. “When he feels rejected by her he gets even.”
Midland Park Murder suspect Arthur Lomando reportedly threw himself in front of a NYC subway at Amsterdam Avenue and St Nicholas Avenue in New York. (Photo: File Photo)
Simring was the final witness in Lomando’s three-week murder trial, which will be turned over to a jury on Thursday. He was called by prosecutors to rebut the testimony of a psychiatrist hired by Lomando’s defense who diagnosed him with borderline personality disorder and testified last week that the condition exposes him to uncontrollable mood swings.
Prosecutors have presented a home security video of Bardzell’s killing, and testimony from friends and colleagues that Lomando allegedly made Bardzell fear for her life weeks before her death. But the case will turn largely on Lomando’s state of mind during the attack, which his defense said was clouded by a history of mental illness.
The former New York City police officer allegedly exhibited intense mood swings, fear of abandonment and chaotic behavior throughout his career, which led other physicians to diagnose him with major depression and impulsive disorder.
On Wednesday, Simring testified that he agreed in part with the diagnosis, but said Lomando’s condition has no prescribed medication and wouldn’t affect his cognitive abilities, as seen in patients with Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and dementia.
“An individual who doesn’t have cognition doesn’t know the facts,” Simring said. “Mr. Lomando always knew.”
To the prosecution, Bardzell’s killing was an act of revenge after she obtained a restraining order against Lomando several weeks earlier. And after he failed to have it revoked, Lomando allegedly ambushed Bardzell in her driveway.
More: Midland Park woman’s brutal slaying recorded on security cameras at her home
The pair had met three years earlier on a dating website, but the relationship became increasingly hostile in fall 2015. Bardzell made several complaints against Lomando, including an accusation that he had broken into her house and threatened to kill her while he was holding scissors. She obtained a temporary restraining order and called police multiple times to say he had violated it. In the days before her death, police filed at least three separate charges against him for those alleged violations.
Simring said Lomando’s behavior was part of an “enduring pattern” with other relationships. Multiple women have filed restraining orders against him, which he would violate before moving on to the next relationship, Simring testified.
“Mr. Lomando has a terrible temper, and this temper has gotten him into trouble over the many, many years,” he said.
The problems spilled into Lomando’s career as a police officer, a time that saw him routinely bounced between precincts because of arguments with other officers. Lomando was prone to explosive bouts of anger and once threw a desk at a co-worker. His behavior eventually led to his dismissal.
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Lomando’s legal team has argued that the incidents, along with his paranoia that Bardzell was trying to get him arrested and sabotaging his relationships with others, are evidence of his mental illness.
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