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Opening Statements Start In Trial Of Man Charged In Meat-Cleaver Killing Of Therapist

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- A prosecutor said a defendant "knew exactly what he was doing'' when he attacked a New York City therapist who got in the way of his plan to rob her office mate.

Assistant District Attorney Evan Krutoy spoke Monday at the trial of David Tarloff. He is charged with murder.

Tarloff's lawyers don't dispute that he killed Kathryn Faughey, 56, in 2008. But they argue that his schizophrenia made him unable to understand that what he was doing was wrong.

Prosecutors and Faughey's family say Tarloff carried out a considered, criminal plan.

Tarloff set out with a bag full of knives and a plan he thought had God's blessing: Stick up a psychiatrist for $40,000, grab his mother out of a nursing home and escape with her to Hawaii, authorities and doctors said.

His odd plot became a bloodbath in an Upper East Side office. Tarloff slashed Faughey to death with a meat cleaver after she confronted him.

Faughey was slashed 15 times, and her office mate was seriously hurt trying to help her, authorities said. The attacker fled; investigators ultimately matched Tarloff's palm prints with some found on a suitcase – filled with women's clothing and adult diapers – left in the building.

He was deemed mentally incompetent for trial for about a year after his arrest, but doctors said last year that his condition had improved.

Faughey specialized in helping people with relationships.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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