Expert weighs in on Sebring killer’s claim of severe mental health issues

Reporter: Maddie Herron Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

What drove a man to murder five women execution-style inside a Sebring bank in 2019?

Zephen Xaver’s defense argues that it was severe mental health issues—specifically, the voices inside Xaver’s head telling him to kill.

After reviewing his medical data, an expert said Xaver’s behavior is not consistent with hearing voices.

A devil on his shoulder or his own free will?

Monday’s court focused on the following question: Does Zephen Xaver suffer from psychotic ‘auditory hallucinations?’

Psychologist Dr. Greg Prichard took the stand, analyzing data from the first time Xaver was admitted seconds before the shooting.

Dr. Prichard picked apart details, noting ownership, control, and organization in Xaver’s behavior, from Xaver’s own morbid words online.

“None of it sounds like voices. It sounds like Zephen Xaver is expressing his own interests; however, peculiar to most people, that may be it is Zephen Xaver expressing his own interests and thoughts. Nothing related to auditory hallucinations,” said Prichard.

Witness testimony is still ongoing in Xaver’s sentencing trial. Lengthy medical expert testimony has dragged out the final days.

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