Brian Walshe’s smile in front of press cameras as police escorted him to court in handcuffs could serve as evidence of “a grandiose sense of self-esteem,” according to a forensic psychiatrist.
The odd moment came on Jan. 9, a day after Walshe was arrested and accused of misleading a police investigation into his wife Ana Walshe’s mysterious disappearance from their home in Cohasset, Massachusetts on New Year’s Day.
dr Ian Lamoureux, a forensic psychiatrist who has conducted over 150 competency assessments and frequently testifies as an expert witness, told Fox News Digital that there are many possible explanations that are “benign”.
“Examples include trying to appear friendly and less ‘criminal’, trusting that the evidence against them is weak, or even a social compulsion where they have a habit of smiling at others,” Lamoureux said.
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However, according to Lamoureux, prosecutors could use this to their advantage given his reported diagnosis of sociopathy, which was uncovered in court documents after the convicted art fraudster allegedly destroyed his father’s will and ransacked the estate.
“If the state claims he’s a sociopath, they’re likely to label that behavior as evidence of a lack of empathy and remorse that’s seen in sociopathy,” Lamoureux said. “It could also be used as evidence of grandiose self-esteem, as they could argue that he enjoyed the publicity his trial drew.”
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Just over a week later – on January 18 – Brian was charged with murder and improper disposal of a body in connection with his wife’s alleged death.
During his court appearance, prosecutors detailed 21 alleged Google searches on his son’s iPad before and after he allegedly killed his wife, including “Ten ways to … dispose of a dead body if you really have to” and “You can because accused of murder without a body?”
Lamoureux said these searches are “strong” circumstantial evidence on which the case is based because investigators have still not found Ana’s body.
“The searches of the defendant, if guilty, suggest he is disorganized. This is because of their timing,” he said. “If the searches trace the murder, they suggest there was only limited planning. He hadn’t thought the crime through from start to finish.
“They also demonstrate that he clearly understands the illegality of murder.
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The searches give prosecutors “a strong argument” as to why there is no body, the renowned forensic psychiatrist said. “Put simply, these searches are not something the average law-abiding citizen does out of boredom or benevolent curiosity. When you put it in context with the timeline of events, it seems even more sinister.”
Experts disagree on how strong the state’s case against Brian is.
Iris Eytan, a Massachusets criminal defense attorney and high-profile attorney who successfully acquitted her client Barry Morphew of murder charges, questioned the validity of the evidence presented in court.
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“I’m not saying he’s innocent and he’s not responsible, but I’m saying refrain from making hasty judgments,” Eytan told Fox News Digital in a previous interview. “If they storm in and accuse someone of murder two weeks after someone’s disappearance, it’s quick without having a body.”
A plea of not guilty to all charges has been filed for Brian, and his attorney, Tracy Miner, has said in her only statement since indictment that she intends to “win” this case in court and not in the media.
“It’s easy to charge a crime, and even easier to say that a person committed that crime. It’s a lot harder to prove, which we’ll see when prosecutors are able to,” Miner said.
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Despite the alleged sociopathic diagnosis, Lamoureux doesn’t see Miner employing a psychic defense because the Google searches “suggest he understood the unfairness of the murder at the time of the crime.”
“None of his behavior following the alleged offense suggests that he was delusional or in any way detached from reality,” Lamoureux said. “No evidence of a history of mental illness has been presented at this time. If he pleads insanity, which is a positive offense, he must provide an account of the crime that would have to lead to the body being found or trace human remains to stand up to external validation.