Sanity phase of trial begins for man guilty in Carlsbad school s - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sanity phase of trial begins for man guilty in Carlsbad school shooting

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VISTA (CNS) - The sanity phase of trial begins Tuesday for a man who wounded two second-graders during a 2010 shooting rampage at a Carlsbad elementary school.

Brendan O'Rourke, 42, was convicted Monday of seven counts each of premeditated attempted murder and assault with a firearm.

Jurors now will be asked to decide whether the defendant was sane at the time of the shooting. The burden is on the defense to prove that O'Rourke was insane when he went on the attack during lunch recess on the playground at Kelly Elementary School on Oct. 8, 2010.

If the defendant is found sane, he faces 103 years to life in state prison. If the jury finds him insane, he could be sent to a state mental hospital.

In her closing argument in the trial's guilt phase, Deputy District Attorney Summer Stephan told jurors that the defendant climbed a fence at the school around noon and fired six shots at children, wounding two girls who suffered arm wounds.

O'Rourke's crime spree certainly would have been much worse had it not been for school staff members who confronted him and the fact that his .357-Magnum revolver jammed and he was unable to re-load, authorities said.

Stephan said O'Rourke made statements that he was mad at his former employer AIG and President Barack Obama as he went on his rampage against 230 children.

Deputy Public Defender Dan Segura conceded that his client was guilty of the assault charges. But regarding the attempted murder, he asked the jury to carefully consider whether O'Rourke intended to kill.

Segura has said that a number of doctors who examined the defendant found that he suffers from severe mental illness.

In her opening statement, Stephan said O'Rourke carried out a planned "terrorist attack." As he jumped the fence into the school, O'Rourke was carrying a revolver, three speed loaders, a five-gallon gas can, large matches and special ammunition meant to do bodily harm, she said.

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