MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Court has adjourned for the day in the trial of Jason Beckman, accused of murdering his father South Miami Commissioner Jay Beckman.
But the jury will not hear any testimony about Beckman's Aspergers, a form of autism. The judge won't permit it and the defense lost a mistrial motion today as Judge Rodney Smith again refused to allow testimony about the defendant's mental deficiency.
The state will not show jurors Beckman's taped statement to police because it does not support their theory of a planned murder, and clearly reveals the odd vocal tones and speech patterns associated with the defendant's Asperger's syndrome.
Earlier on Thursday, the state's star witness took the stand.
Lisa Syren, a childhood friend of Jason Beckman, said on the stand that Beckman said he wanted his dad dead "too many times to count."
Miami-Dade Police said Beckman, 17 at the time, used a shotgun to shoot and kill Jay Beckman while the father was showering inside their South Miami home in 2009.
State witness Syren also testified that Jason had a propensity to of lying, telling wild stories often not true. Syren said, on the stand, that Jason once told classmates that he lived in mansion with a golf course, but in fact lived in a "dilapidated" house with his father.
Attorneys for both sides laid out there opening statements in the trail with autism a factor for both sides Wednesday.
"He'd been talking about killing his father for as long as anyone can remember," prosecutor Jessica Dobbins said. "He never made any attempt to try to hide his hatred for his father. This defendant kept a list of people he didn't like. The name at the top of that list was his fathers."
Dobbins said Beckman told a friend that he wanted to kill his father and then make it look like self-defense. The prosecution revealed that Beckman used a double-barrel shotgun to kill his father in 2009.
The prosecution said Jason pulled the trigger on the shotgun, "firing at such a close range; he practically blew his father's face off."
Jason was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, a mild form of autism. Many with the disorder are intelligent, but have difficulty making friends or socializing. Police and prosecutors said Beckman had a list of enemies and his father was at the top of the list.
"Jason always had a serious look on his face, never expressed emotion," defense attorney Tara Kawass said. He was "different, awkward, always speaking at inappropriate times, saying outlandish things." But he was, "never violent and never aggressive."
Kawass said about the list of people he didn't like, "This is the way Jason coped with his emotions, wrote them down because he couldn't express his feelings any other way."
Prosecutors countered that while Jason suffered from Asperger's Syndrome, "his differences in no way excused his intent to murder his own father."
Kawass admitted that Jason shot his father, but It was an accident, "Jason did not intentionally kill his father, did not intentionally pull that trigger."
As testimony got underway, a photograph of the shotgun lying on the bedroom bed in the South Miami home was shown. Jason Beckman lowered his head and appeared to choke up when the prosecution presented another photograph of the bloody shower with his father's body lying in it.
The trial is scheduled to resume Friday at 1:00pm.
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