HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KSNW) – Prosecutors in the Samuel Vonachen double-murder trial played a video of the teen’s hour-long interview with investigators that occurred after the deadly fire in 2013. In addition, a doctor took the stand to testify about Vonachen’s mental competency.
Seventeen-year-old Sam Vonachen stared straight ahead as the jury heard his own words back in 2013 when he was interviewed by police following a fire allegedly set by the youth that killed his mother and sister.
DETECTIVE: “You want me to tell them you’re sorry?”
DETECTIVE: “You’re not sorry for what you did?”
In the video, Vonachen speaks about the name he initially gave to 9-1-1 dispatchers when he called in the fire at his home. The defense characterized it as a fictional character, one he created in his mind, something the defense is trying to show makes him not guilty due to mental disease or defect.
DETECTIVE: “What was that name you told us? Dominck Seeth, who is that? A character It’s not an actual person or musician?”
On the stand Thursday afternoon, Dr. Trevor Patten, a psychologist who performed a mental evaluation on Vonachen in February 2014 said the teen had an IQ of 127. He also said besides having ADHD at a young age, Vonachen appeared to have no mental defects that would keep him from standing trial.
“I found that absolutely, he had the capacity to form the intent,” Dr. Patten testified.
Also on Thursday, the director of the youth facility where Vonachen was placed after the fire testified about what he observed. He characterized Vonachen as very intelligent and well-read, but had few friends and often bullied others.
The defense pointed to other observations made at the home, that the teen would talk to himself and was seen talking to a piece of fruit, an orange.
The case could go to the defense on Friday. That could lead to more testimony about Vonachen’s alter ego.