The lawyers of Alex Ophel claim that he was dealing with mental illness during the attack. (YouTube: Thane Jekyll)
Family and former friends of Alex Ophel, who is accused of having beaten classmates with a baseball bat at the Australian National University, have taken a photo before the court of an unremarkable youth that led to a shocking, violent attack.
Most important points:
- The defense of Alex Ophel says that he was ordered to carry out the attack by "higher beings"
- Mr Ophel posted on Facebook prior to the attack: "I have to do this"
- Former classmate says she received a disturbing message on the morning of the attack
Mr Ophel, 19, is confronted in August last year with five counts of attempts to murder the attack, so that the classmates were admitted to the hospital.
When opening statements in his ACT Supreme Court trial, his defense team told the court that they would not dispute the prosecution's general story about the attack – that he had wounded his classmates with a baseball bat.
Attorney John Purnell SC said the attack left behind victims who were traumatized and terrified and that they had done nothing to earn it.
But he said they would claim that Mr Ophel was mentally handicapped at the time of the incident and followed the instructions of what he believed to be "higher beings"; goods.
The father of the accused, John Ophel, was called the first witness, who describes an ordinary childhood with "nothing that would suggest that he would commit a violent act".
The defense of Mr. Ophel does not refute the fact that he has swung the bat in the day. (ABC Canberra: Jolene Laverty)
His son won academic awards, represented the ACT in basketball in his teenage years and had many friends, according to Mr. Ophel.
He said his son seemed farther away and not interested in his later years of high school and first year of college, but felt that he was probably just bored of his family.
"The joy seemed to fall away," he said about those more recent years.
Old classmates from high school also gave evidence, saying Alex Ophel in his school years & # 39; well-known and loved & # 39; used to be.
But someone described "creepy behavior" at a party less than 12 months before the attack, involving an interaction with a girl.
Another female classmate of the former school, who is now studying medicine, received a disturbing message from Mr. Ophel the morning of the attack, although he had relatively little contact with him in the previous years.
"Have fun killing yourself & # 39; doctor & # 39; haha that no one will love you," stood there.
Acting under the guidance of & # 39; higher beings & # 39;
The defense repeatedly referred to Ophel's belief that "higher beings" compelled him to carry out the attack, fearing serious consequences if he did not.
During his opening statement, Mr. Purnell referred to messages that Mr. Ophel placed prior to the attack on Facebook.
"I have to do this", it said.
"It is impossible to explain …"
The defense said that those thoughts of higher beings have continued in prison, with Mr. Ophel referring to reports to harm his cellmates and staff.
Mr. Purnell said they planned to claim that the attack was caused by a psychotic illness.
He said that Mr. Ophel "thought it was important that the attack took place, felt completely overwhelmed, [with] no rational thinking ".
murder and murder,