Execution delayed for Dallas man who killed his children

Sixty-year-old former Dallas, Texas accountant John Battaglia, who was given the death penalty after shooting his two daughters – nine-year-old Faith and six-year-old Liberty – was granted a last-minute reprieve on Wednesday, March 30 from the Fifth United States Circuit Court of Appeals in order for his defense attorney to pursue mental incompetency claims.

The execution, which was set for 6 p.m. that day, was postponed until the courts can determine whether Battaglia should not be executed on the basis of possible mental problems and “delusions”.

On May 2, 2001, Battaglia shot his two daughters in his Deep Ellum loft while his ex-wife was listening on the phone.

At his capital murder trial, an adult daughter from a previous marriage said Battaglia was suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, characterized by manipulative behavior, a lack of empathy, and a hyper-inflated sense of importance, according to his psychiatrists.

Gregory Gardner, Battaglia’s present legal counsel, said Battaglia has long “exhibited bizarre behavior consistent with severe mental illness”.

The appeals court did not decide whether or not Battaglia qualified for an insanity defense but concurred that he previously “lacked counsel to prepare his claim of incompetency”, noting that Battaglia had a history of saying that his lawyers wanted to secure his execution.

Two soldiers accused of first-degree murder

Two soldiers at Fort Bragg have now been accused of first-degree murder after they body of a 17-year-old was found in the woods near Spring Lake.

The two 20-year-old men work as motor transport operators in the 82nd Airborne Division. They are neighbors to the victim and it is known that they played basketball together, but it is not known how close they were.

According to the man’s grandma, he left the house around 10 p.m. and did not return. Police have said that there will be more information on the tragic incident once an autopsy is done.

 

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