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Defense: Mental Health System Failed Stabbing Suspect

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of fatally stabbing a neighbor in 2008.

During opening statements, Defense Attorney Lisa Middleman told the jury her client, 41-year-old Terrence Andrews, sought help in the days before the murder and couldn't get it.

"Western Psych told him he'd had enough treatment. He was told he would get no food vouchers and no bus pass until he stayed out of the hospital's emergency room for two weeks," Middleman said.

A few days later, Lisa Maas, 18, was stabbed to death. She was a culinary student and worked at a hospital in Oakland.

Maas had a deadly encounter with Andrews, her neighbor, after she made a comment about his body odor.

According to police, Andrews said, "I did it. Arrest me," when they arrived at the Shadyside apartment complex on May 29, 2008. He was covered in blood.

Police also testified Andrews asked if there was a death penalty and kept saying, "I told them this would happen."

The victim's family has filed suit against Western Psych separately and wants justice in the criminal justice system.

"And I can only say that based on what we heard so far, my suspicions and Mr. Rosen's suspicions are correct that the mental health system has totally failed," Michael Calder, the family's attorney, said. "And as a result of their failure, we've lost the life of an innocent 18-year-old girl and that is terrible."


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