Dad: God told me to kill my son

Feb. 12, 2009 at 4:58 PM
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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., Feb. 12 (UPI) -- A Virginia man diagnosed with schizophrenia told reporters that he cut his 5-year-old son's head off to save him from the anti-Christ.

Lawyers for Joseph H. Hagerman III have asked for a psychiatric evaluation, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Hagerman was arrested Tuesday and appeared at his arraignment Wednesday via a video link from the jail.

Brandon Zeigler, Hagerman's lawyer, said that his client's jailhouse interview, broadcast on local television, shows his mental condition.

"There's no way you can ... think that that is the ramblings of a sane individual," the lawyer told the Virginian-Pilot.

During the interview, Hagerman said that God had told him to kill his son, Joshua, to keep him from the anti-Christ.

Shirley Hagerman called police Tuesday morning, saying that her husband had killed their son and injured her in their home in Virginia Beach.

Christopher Bellamy, music director at a church Hagerman formerly attended, said that he first showed symptoms of schizophrenia while he was in the Marines. Bellamy said that medication appeared to be controlling the symptoms, although on his Web site Hagerman credited Jesus.

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