Psychiatrist testifies in Adrian Hargrove's capital murder trial



A psychiatrist testified Monday that Adrian Hargrove said he didn’t know how or why he killed a pregnant teen and her parents six years ago.

Hargrove, 36, is on trial for the Feb. 9, 2008, killings of Allyson Pederson, 18, and Sharon and Andrew Hartley.

Pederson’s body was found set on fire on Lock and Dam Road about noon that day, roughly the same time the Hartleys’ bodies were discovered in the blood-soaked master bedroom of their Bennock Mill Road home. They had been beaten and repeatedly stabbed.

Dr. Richard Dudley, a forensic psychiatrist, testified in Richmond County Superior Court that Hargrove has had post-traumatic stress disorder since childhood.

Hargrove’s childhood was chaotic, with repeated exposure to violence and drug abuse, Dudley testified. Hargrove also has a delusion disorder and depressive disorder.

In Dudley’s opinion, Hargrove meets the criteria for a finding of guilty but mentally ill.

Under cross examination, Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms questioned the validity of Dudley’s diagnosis if the information he was given was incorrect. For example, Hargrove told Dudley he was afraid of knives but he regularly carried one.

Hargrove has spent most of his adult life in prison. He was arrested at age 13 with a stolen car; at 14 for shooting up a laundromat with a BB gun and taking a gun to school; and at 17 and 19 for possession of and selling drugs. Hargrove also did time for child molestation.

If Hargrove is convicted of murder, the jury will be asked to determine punishment – life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole, or death.

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