Psychiatrist testifies Jason Rodriguez was insane during Orlando shooting spree

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ORLANDO, Fla. - The state rested its case in Jason Rodriguez's murder trial immediately after the lunch break Tuesday and the defense has begun presenting its case to the jury.

Rodriguez, 44, is on trial for the shooting death of Otis Beckford in an Orlando office building in November 2009. The shooting was at the office where Rodriguez was fired two years earlier. Several others were wounded in the shootings.


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Rodriguez's lawyers are now trying to convince the jury that voices in his head pushed him to open fire that day, and some psychiatrists called by the defense on Tuesday back up Rodriguez's claim.

The defense doesn't dispute what Rodriguez did when he opened fire, but they are saying he was insane when he did it.

"The specific mental illness, in my opinion, is paranoid schizophrenia," said Dr. Randy Otto.

Otto is a professor of mental health law at the University of South Florida. He was hired by the defense to evaluate Rodriguez.

"He believed a conspiracy of many people was working together to harm him and his family," said Otto.

"The prosecution put on just enough evidence to prove their case," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer. "Now, the real fight begins. That's whether this defendant was insane at the time of the commission of the offense."

Earlier in the day, jurors heard from Assistant Medical Examiner Dr. Sara Hiott Irrgang.

Irrgang confirmed how the victim died, but for much of the morning, Irrgang was tied up in a legal fight over a computer animation of the crime scene. The defense didn't want the jury to see that animation, but Judge Belvin Perry allowed it to be presented.

Prosecutors said the 3D computer mapping shows what the offices looked like after defendant Rodriguez shot Beckford and others on Nov. 6, 2009.

Irrgang testified that Beckford was shot in the back and confirmed prosecutors' assertions that the shooting was a homicide.

Prosecution witness Lori Ross said she saw Rodriguez in the parking garage of the building on the morning of the shooting.

"I saw the face of Mr. Rodriguez," Ross said.

"And was there any doubt in your mind that the person on the news footage was the person you saw on the fifth floor?" the prosecutor asked.

"No," Ross responded.

When Ross was asked if she saw that person in the courtroom, she pointed out Rodriguez.