Doctor questions whether dad convicted killing his son faked his brain injury symptoms

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A neurologist said the Orange County father who beat his five-year-old son to death is faking his mental problems to avoid the death penalty.

The testimony came as a jury decides whether Darrell Avant Sr. should get the penalty for killing Darell Avant, Jr. after the boy got in trouble at school.

Dr. Alan Waldman said he tested people who might be faking their symptoms, and said the test indicated Avant, Sr. may be doing just that.

On Monday, a different doctor blamed Avant Sr.’s murderous rage on a brain injury and that his cognitive abilities are not as good as they should be.

Ultimately, the decision over whether Avant Sr. is sentenced to death comes down to whether the jury believes he couldn’t help it, or if he’s just a bad guy.

Read: Darell Avant Jr.'s mother: 'He meant the world to me'

One of the big claims the defense made revolves around Avant Sr.’s waiting 30 minutes after the beating to call 911. During the trial, prosecutors used Avant Sr.’s Google searches as evidence. They said he searched, “how to tell if an infant is dead,” before calling 911.

A doctor that testified Monday said Avant Sr. may not have been able to recognize that his son was dead.

Jurors heard closing arguments Tuesday afternoon. Deliberations are scheduled to begin Thursday.