I blogged about this man who was under the influence of methamphetamine and shot his pregnant girlfriend because he believed she was carrying “Lucifer’s baby“. He had been awake for several days and the hallucinations he experienced came in the form of voices he heard. I have been following this story over the past month and reading about this man (who is really just barely a man at the age of 21).
The jury heard that on Nov. 23, 2005, Baker took a gun from his house, snorted a line of crystal meth, stole his mother’s car and drove to Talbot’s home.
He went to the door, apologized to her and shot her. He then sped away, threw the gun into the river and went home, where he stayed until police arrived, then he confessed.
The jury also heard about Baker’s hallucinations and delusions. He claims to have believed the child Talbot was carrying was his, that it was implanted in her womb by the government and that the government was going to transfer his powers to the baby.
He told the court he believed he had to kill Talbot and the baby to save the world, to walk as Jesus Christ, and to fulfill God’s will.
In his mind, he was told that this girl needed to die and it was as real to him as anything else.
Hallucinations are one very common side effect of meth. The lack of sleep only compounds the matter and anyone who has been up for a period of days can attest to that. Personally, I start seeing things after a day when I don’t get enough sleep (and no meth!). Addicts can stay awake for several days at a time. With no sleep and an overload of dopamine, neurons in the brain begin to misfire. This is so severe in fact that it can be compared to schizophrenia.
The notion that dopamine may be involved in schizophrenia derives from the therapeutic usefulness of drugs that block certain dopamine receptors in treating the disorder. Indeed, because dopamine blockers are so often effective, it has been proposed that an over activity of dopamine neurotransmission in cortical and limbic areas of the brain may cause schizophrenia.
Dopamine is further implicated by the fact that a schizophrenia-like psychosis can be induced by abusing amphetamines, which act on dopamine pathways. -Scientific American.com
People with schizophrenia can plead insanity and can be diagnosed as such; a meth addict who may suffer from the same type of hallucinations will have a hard time convincing a jury that they are insane.
Baker claimed he was in the throes of a drug-induced psychosis and that severe delusions compelled him to kill Talbot. He asked the jury to find him not criminally responsible for the killing.
The jury, however, found him guilty of first-degree murder, for which he receives an automatic life sentence without the possibility of parole for 25 years.