The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

July 22, 2013

Psychologists disagree over Pollard's mental disorder


Salter does not dispute the fact that Pollard suffers from PTSD. But her and Rypma's opinions differ in whether Pollard has borderline personality disorder or bipolar disorder.

The basis of BPD is "roller coaster" relationships with others due to over-valuing or de-valuing, she said. Bipolar disorder, on the other hand, involves severe mood swings, which was corroborated by Pollard's girlfriend.

Rypma, on the other hand, said that in bipolar disorder, mood swings last over a period of weeks or months, whereas with borderline personality disorder, mood swings are more rapid, within hours.

"Unless you're a psychopath — and I don't believe he is — when your adrenaline starts surging, it does not instantly evaporate," she said.

But did you consider the possibility that Pollard could have been acting in self defense? Cook asked. He wasn't, Salter said, because he told police that he hit McDaniel first.

"Just standing there does not constitute an assault," she said.

And If Pollard was watching a film when McDaniel allegedly touched him, who would have turned off the projector? she said. The projector was turned off and the reel was at the beginning when police arrived.

"I just don't think his story holds water," she said. "I think that he couldn't have come down from it that quickly. I think the story is physically impossible. How could a 70-year-old man catch a man in his mid-20s that fast before he could figure out how to get out? And I don't think corroborating evidence or interviews or mental health records suggest that he was capable of a kind of blind panic where he wouldn't know what he was doing."

Both the state and defense have rested their cases. The jury will be presented with legal instructions at 9 a.m. Tuesday, followed by closing arguments. They will then begin deliberations.

For more detailed coverage of Dr. Craig Rypma's testimony Monday morning, go to to read "Court peers into Pollard's mind, traumatic past." To follow the trial as it unfolds, follow reporter Chelsea Davis on Twitter at @ChelseaLeeDavis.

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