Defense asks for psychologist to testify in Lexington murder trial

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Two Lexington men accused of murder made another court appearance on Monday.

Quincinio Canada and Dawan Mulazim both face murder and robbery charges in connection to the death of Marine Jonathan Price back in 2014.

Canada and Mulazim are accused of robbing and shooting Price and his wife Megan outside Austin City Saloon. Megan lived, but Jonathan Price did not.

Monday's hearing was to determine if a psychologist could testify for the defense once the case goes to trial. The psychologist is an expert in memory and how it can be unreliable based on a number of factors.

Dr. Jeffrey Neuschatz discussed his background studying memories and how witnesses can be impacted.

"The general theory is that when you have a very stressful event, it limits your encoding so it's harder to get things into memory and it's harder to remember them accurately," Neuschatz said.

Canada and Mulazim's attorneys had previously asked for evidence from a photo lineup to be thrown out, but that motion was denied.

Dr. Neuschatz said at Monday's hearing that witnesses can be affected by race when it comes to identifying suspects.

"Cross-race bias is the idea that it's more difficult to identify people who are of a different race than it is to identify people who are the same race," Neuschatz said.

Prosecutors questioned the doctor about the importance of having that information available to jurors.

"Why would they need to know exactly how it works if ultimately they know that memory is not perfect," Prosecutor Kimberly Baird asked. "Why do they need to know all the studies and the details and the backdrop if ultimately they know that memory is not perfect? So they can make an informed decision about the case."

The judge did not make a final decision, but hopes to have a decision in time for the next scheduled hearing on April 30.

The trial for both suspects is expected to start at the end of May.



 
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