Defense: 'Rockefeller' pushed over the edge
BOSTON -- Lawyers for the man who calls himself Clark Rockefeller used their closing argument at his kidnapping trial to depict him as a loving, devoted father with a mental illness that exploded when he lost custody of the girl.
Rockefeller, whose real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, is accused of kidnaping his 7-year-old daughter, Reigh, during a supervised visit in Boston last July. Father and daughter were found in Baltimore six days later.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Denner told the jury in his closing Monday that Gerhartsreiter has suffered from mental illness for three decades, but said his illness worsened dramatically when he lost custody of Reigh to his ex-wife in December 2007. Denner said the loss of his daughter caused a "psychotic break" to the point where he was having delusions and believed he needed to rescue his daughter.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)