ALBANY, Ga. -- The husband of a nurse who is accused of killing six patients with potassium chloride injections testified Monday his wife's mental state was such she sometimes forgot their lovemaking and gave him 'a puzzled look' when he later mentioned it.
District Attorney Hobart Hind concluded his case earlier in the day without calling nearly 60 witnesses who were scheduled to testify against Terri Rachals, 25, accused of injecting 11 patients with potassium chloride. Six of them died.
Rachals is accused of killing Minnie Houck, 59, Milton Lucas, 69, Norris Morgan, 3, Joe Irvin, 35, Andrew Daniels, 72, and Roger Parker, 36.
The most incriminating evidence presented was a confession taped by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation in which Rachals admitted killing three patients.
'I just couldn't stand to see them suffering anymore,' she said in the taped confession. 'It didn't seem wrong to me -- it seemed like I was helping them. There were tubes all in them everywhere.'
Defense Attorney George Donaldson III opened his case with several witnesses, including Rachals' husband, Roger, who described the couple's sex life and Rachals' odd behavior.
He said on several instances they would go to bed and his wife would get out of bed and go into the walk-in closet and put on a revealing nightgown. Roger Rachals said when she returned to bed they would make love. When they finished she would go back into the closet, change, return to bed and sleep.
'The next morning I would tell her how I enjoyed it and how much I appreciated it and she would look at me with a puzzled look,' he said.
Donaldson said he will prove his client should be judged innocent because she is mentally ill.
'She suffers from a disease or disorder that causes her to do unusual things and has periods of time when she can't remember what took place,' Donaldson said.
Donaldson said he planned to call Rachals to testify on her own behalf Tuesday morning.
Donaldson said his client experienced trauma as a child.
He said she was raped by her adopted father when she was 11 years old and that act affected her actions and memory later, causing her to confess to inject lethal doses of potassium chloride into the patients.
Maples in earlier testimony denied raping Rachals, who was adopted when she was 2 years old.
The last state witness was Atlanta statistician Dr. Dale Franks, who concluded an abnormal number of cardiac arrests at Phoebe Putney Hospital. Hind said testimony last week was so powerful no additional witnesses were needed.
'In the past 11 years I've served the county in this office, I've never been favored with witnesses who came across as clearly, intelligently and positively,' Hind said.
'So I've been able to remove those that are repititious and have presented to the jury the nitty gritty,' he said.