SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The accused killer of a Missouri State professor stabbed to death nearly seven years ago is in court again today in Springfield.
Marc Cooper was killed in 2016. Fellow instructor Edward Gutting is accused in his murder.
Gutting is pleading not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
A neighbor of the Coopers testified today that he saw Gutting right after the stabbing happened with markings and blood on his face.
That neighbor, Harvey Lucas, said he watched Gutting walk around to the front of the street from the back of the home.
Lucas said he was shocked at how slowly he was moving, saying, “(Gutting) Looked like a zombie coming across the yard.”
The lead detective on this case, Robert Mcphail, took the stand today. A big part of his testimony focused on whether Gutting was intoxicated at the time of the stabbing.
Mcfail said Gutting smelled of alcohol and told police he was drunk after the arrest.
Prosecutors are likely using evidence Gutting was drunk as a way to discount the defense’s position that a psychotic break caused Gutting’s violent behavior.
Another witness linked potential substance abuse to his behavior. Dr. Sharma, a psychiatrist with Mercy, saw Gutting after an ER visit in 2011.
Sharma said Gutting had been huffing nitrous oxide. He testified gutting had a psychotic disorder secondary to substance abuse.
A second psychiatrist also testified. Dr. Jenkins examined Gutting while he was a professor at MSU.
Jenkins said he remembered gutting looked disheveled, and that “his appearance is not what I would expect from faculty of a university,”…adding that gutting looked homeless.
The defense will continue to present its case tomorrow at the courthouse.