By Mihajla Milovanovic
WOODLAND, CA – Fredric Logsdon—pleading not guilty by reason of insanity—testified on behalf of himself here in Yolo County Superior Court Thursday regarding the charge of felony assault on his mother in January of 2018.
Deputy Public Defender Ronald Johnson asked Logsdon why he was in was in Sierra Vista Hospital and Napa State Hospital, and the accused said he was not compliant with the medications, noting that “nobody wants to feel like a zombie and taken from who they are as a person.”
He added the care doctors simply labeled him as psychotic and schizophrenic without knowing him.
Logsdon said he was admitted to the hospital because of suicidal thoughts and consumption of the element lithium, noting, “I felt that I lost God, I thought I was going to hell.” Additionally, he claimed that, with his hyper-religiosity, “I was guided by what the Bible stated and I believed it to be the truth and only the truth..”
PD Johnson asked the accused if he knows his diagnosis and symptoms because they “are in court today to determine whether he is safe to society.”
The accused explained his diagnosis of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia along with past symptoms, adding, “I felt that I was God, I felt it in my body. I wasn’t eating or drinking which led me to hallucinate. I also had extreme mood swings where I would get extremely happy then sad in a matter of minutes.”
Logsdon continued, admitting he would eat unusual things regularly like soap and detergent. He confirmed that he is not having any of these symptoms at the moment, but the manic episodes came back a few months ago due to a change in his lithium medication.
As the testimony became very emotional, the accused claimed he had a very hard time being honest to people taking care of him due to possible reprimand. He “was able to feel again,” once he was taken off of certain medications.
He testified that the cycle began again after new doctors would give him unfamiliar medications to which he experienced side effects.
Mr. Logsdon then brought up his last experience in court and that at that time he was experimenting with 300 mg of lithium his doctor approved and that he was “experimenting with different things to digest.” He added he was getting the same thoughts of punching people with his Abilify medication as well.
At 450 mg of lithium the accused noted, “I can distinguish spirituality and taking care of my physical body, I was fine. I was very open with helping others.”
He then testified that the doctor put in an involuntary medication order for 600 mg of lithium which he did not feel comfortable with at first, but, however, 600 mg is his current dose.
Logsdon described the red flags that would lead him into a decompensation including feeling sadness, mania and a desire to fast.
Logsdon explained a specific instance of when he was in a group and one of the people was over speaking while trying to get their voice out and, in response, he stood up and tried to defend the person not being heard. He mentioned that the impulsiveness of getting up was a major red flag as well.
Additionally with the impulsiveness, Logsdon admitted “this is what happened to me with my mother, I impulsively did things. I was led, I was not in control.” High risk situations for the accused, he said, include parties, bars, and homelessness where he felt he was unable to take care of himself.
PD Johnson then asked why he would go to bars if he felt that he was at risk. The accused stated that he liked to dance and socialize and that he would go to the bar and not drink in these instances. The PD also asked if his mother was a safe space for him at this time to which he replied it was not.
Logsdon claimed “my mother is very spiritual and I have to keep that at a distance because it is a high risk.” In regard to what led up to the offense, Logsdon explained that as he became more involved with the Bible he would become more and more manic where he would “yell at Jesus.”
He added that a week before the incident he began fasting for periods of as long as 11 days, and that during this particular time he was not drinking, sleeping or taking his medication because he was so focused on his hyper religiosity.
The direct examination was then concluded and the cross-examination by Deputy District Attorney Ryan Couzens began by asking about his refusal to take medications (“cheeking”) and how he did that in the jails and hospitals, including Yolo County Jail.
DDA Couzens then switched to Logsdon’s images when he felt the urge to punch and hurt people. Logsdon explained that it was mostly punching thoughts, but occasionally stabbing would come to his mind while he was on the Abilify medication.