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Expert witness: Dog shooter has paranoid personality disorder

April 30, 2010|By ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN -- The defense is expected to present evidence beginning Monday in the case of a Williamsport man being sued by neighbors who claim he has harassed them for years.

The case against Jeffrey Lynn Hurd continued Friday in Washington County Circuit Court.

Hurd was convicted of killing Arthur Pereschuk's dog, Bristol, on July 22, 2007.

Less than a year later, on May 8, 2008, Harley, a dog belonging to James and Renee Rudolph, Pereschuk's daughter and son-in-law, was shot on Hurd's property.

The Pereschuks, the Rudolphs, and Eric and Mary Haberkorn are suing Hurd for intentional infliction of emotional distress and several nuisance claims, many related to surface mining and other work he does on his property.

On Friday, an expert witness in psychology testified for the plaintiffs.

Kathleen W. Killeen of Towson, Md., testified that after a review of Hurd's legal history, an interview with him and the administration of psychological tests, she determined he has a paranoid personality disorder.

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A personality disorder is a long-standing set of character traits that causes dysfunction in a primary area of a person's life, such as work or close relationships, Killeen testified.

A central feature of the paranoid personality disorder is a pattern of pervasive distrust and suspicion of others, she testified. Someone with this disorder often interprets others' motives as malevolent, she said. They often become involved in legal disputes, she said.

Hurd's attorney, William Wantz, is expected to begin presenting evidence on his behalf Monday.

D. Bruce Poole is the attorney for the plaintiffs.

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