The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 22, 2013

Psychologists disagree over Pollard's mental disorder

OTTUMWA — Psychologists differed on which mental disorder could have contributed to Bruce Pollard's alleged murder of Kenneth McDaniel.

Pollard, 26, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the death of Cinema X manager Kenneth McDaniel on March 11, 2012.

On Monday morning, the defense called Dr. Craig Rypma, a clinical and forensic psychologist who evaluated Pollard on two separate occasions. He diagnosed Pollard with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), major depression, a "ruled-out diagnosis" of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a personality disorder "not otherwise specified," though he leaned toward borderline personality disorder.

Rypma's testimony included Pollard's claims of severe physical and sexual abuse as a young boy at the hands of his father.

"In the clinical interaction I had with Bruce, he presented in a way that is just right on with how hundreds of people that I've talked to in my career present sexual abuse," Rypma said. "Patients aren't able to make this stuff up unless they have had some experience with it. He presented in a manner that convinced me this abuse had occurred."

Prosecutor Scott Brown was concerned, though, that Rypma put too much stock in Pollard's account of events, rather than corroborating his claims.

Brown called clinical psychologist Dr. Anna Salter, who disputed some of Rypma's statements after interviewing Pollard's mother, sister, brother, girlfriend and friend.

But how would his family know what happened that day? asked defense attorney Allen Cook. Their statements are relevant, she said, because Pollard's thinking and feelings that day influenced his actions, according to his account to police.

The fact that Pollard had a traumatic childhood was not disputed. His sister's claim that they both had been sexually abused by their father was upheld by the family. But Pollard's claims of one-on-one sexual abuse by his father were not supported by his family, Salter said.

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