A forensic psychologist said Feb. 1 the convicted murderer facing the death penalty for killing Jimmie Holland Jr. has a “psychopathic lifestyle.”
The statement came on the final day of testimony in the mitigation hearing for Elliott Kirkland, 29, of Lorain, who was convicted by a Lorain County Common Pleas Court jury on Jan. 24 of shooting Holland.
Kirkland killed Holland on Aug. 29, 2016, while robbing the man’s Lorain apartment.
Dr. Robert Stinton, a consultant for prosecutors and the sole witness for the state in the hearing, stopped short of diagnosing Kirkland with psychopathy because he had not interviewed him personally.
Stinton said he could have made a diagnosis based on the more than 7,500 pages of records, dating from Kirkland’s childhood to the present day, which he reviewed for the case.
He said that when one deals with a psychopath, the person often is “superficially charming” and have a parasitic lifestyle.
“It was somewhat chilling that in the records, his girlfriend said he was charming (and) two of the (defense’s) evaluators said he comes across as charming,” Stinton said. “Well, superficial charm is a hallmark of psychopathy when it’s combined with the antisocial, when it’s combined with the lifestyle, when it’s combined with these other things that I’m talking about.”
Stinton also strongly disagreed with the defense’s forensic psychologist, Dr. Galit Askenazi, who claimed Kirkland did not have antisocial personality disorder and that he had avoidant tendencies.
“He’s not avoidant at all,” he said. “He’s kind of got the gift of gab and seems to, kind of, be able to sway people and draw them in.”
In his opinion, Stinton said he found that Kirkland was “born to ineffective parents,” and was raised by his grandmother who was in a “high risk” community.”
“He does not have any neuropsychological impairments, does not have an intellectual disability, does not have a mental illness,” the doctor said. “He’s had numerous, and appropriately graded, attempts at intervention. But nonetheless, he has persisted in his criminogenic thinking, attitudes and behavior.
“And he presents, in the end, with the classic signs of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy.”
Earlier in the day, the jurors heard from Chiffon Barnette, the mother of two of Kirkland’s children; Cassandra Jones, his former neighbor at the King Kennedy Housing Projects in Cleveland; and Chanelle Kirkland-Whitfield; his aunt.
Their testimony, on behalf of the defense, echoed much of what was heard Jan. 29 during the testimony of Askenazi describing the various problems Kirkland had growing up in the housing project and with his dysfunctional family.
The hearing resumes at 9 a.m. Feb. 4 before Common Pleas Judge James L. Miraldi.