Saturday, March 7, 2009

Teah Wimberley to have Psychological Testing

The Miami Herald reports on the latest developments in the Dillard High Shooting case.

Teah Wimberly, the Broward teenager accused of shooting her friend to death at Dillard High School, will undergo more psychological testing before a judge decides whether she should be moved from jail to a mental institution.

Prosecutors and Wimberly's lawyer jointly agreed further testing was needed, canceling a Friday hearing, according to Judge John Murphy III's office.

Wimberly, 15, has been an inmate at the North Broward Jail in Pompano Beach since November. She is segregated from the other female prisoners because of her age.

The defense claims that she suffers from serious psychological issues and that she needs specialized treatment that cannot be offered in jail. Prosecutors have argued the teen can be treated in jail.

Before the decision to postpone the hearing, the two sides had been expected to put several psychology experts and therapists on the witness stand Friday to prove their point in court.

Since the terrible shooting, some family background has come out that is being offered now as proof of Wimberley's diminished capacity.

Abandoned as a baby by her mother, she grew extremely attached to her father, Jevon Wimberly, known on stage as ''J Baby,'' who was an up-and-coming comedian in the Miami area. In 2007 he himself shot another man in a dispuite, was convicted of second-degree attempted murder and sentenced to 25 years. Leaving Teah in the care of his parents, he refused to allow her to visit him in jail.

Now that's enough to throw anyone's life off the rails, but is it enough to excuse her actions? Is it enough to mitigate them? Combined with her age, do you think this girl should be held accountable for this murder the same way as say, the Florida Turnpike killers are?

The last time we talked about this case, at the time of Teah's non-guilty plea, we received a comment from a classmate at Dillard High named Lucille.

teah's intention was not to kill amanda, her intention was to kill herself in front of amanda but at the last second she turned the gun. amanda was not gay. they were never dating. i'm fully convinced teah has some problems. she would blog about the how sweet death was and how the darkness soothes her. her mother kicked her out of the house and she had to live with her grandmother. none of this is a reason to kill someone, and i believe teah should not get off easy, but there are some things to be discussed here. if there was no gun available, i'm not sure this would have happened...

Young Lucille is certainly no expert, and I've never claimed to be one, but interestingly we both say the same thing. If there had been no gun available, this incident might not have happened, at least it might not have had such devestating results.

What's your opinion? Can you see how the availability of the gun is often crucial? Do you think Teah should be considered for leniency because of her age and background?

Please leave a comment.


  1. I see one giant twinkie.

    Notice that shooters always are perfect angels and straight A students according to their friends and family before they go out and murder someone?

    "but at the last second she turned the gun"


  2. Crying BS also on how "lucille" was able to so clearly know Teah's intentions.

    Can you see how the availability of the gun is often crucial?

    No, I can't see it. People who want to kill, who want to commit suicide aren't stopped because they can't find a firearm.

    Why can't you see that people who are determined to do something will do it regardless of the tool available?

  3. Young Lucille is certainly no expert, and I've never claimed to be one, but interestingly we both say the same thing.

    two people, both of whom are acknowledged not to be knowledgeable on the subject matter, happen to agree, and you think this coincidence is in the least bit interesting?

    it isn't, mike. you only want to think it is because that's the only way you can get some validation of your most highly inexpert opinion.

  4. Right, and if a "gun" was not readily available she might have stolen one. Or perhaps she would have plunged a knife into the victims back. Maybe created an IED and discharged it in the school around the victim. No gun, no problem, move to the very next weapon available. Lead pipe, monkey wrench, baseball bat, baseball, basketball, even a butane lighter. The last, is only 2 bucks at Wal-Mart. If you do not have access to one, make one.

    As for her life's circumstances, many people get shit in life. Many people are bullied, or picked on. While I have compassion for them, and scorn for their "victims", not every person who is mistreated in school, kills people. Like so many others, I did not go on a killing spree because I was singled out and tormented in high school. Nor am a unstable. I like so many, am a perfectly sane, reasonable, law abiding citizen.

    Oh yes, and since when does talking about death, how sweet it is, and the darkness mean that a person has mental issues? People might be fearful of death, some people embrace it. So are all people who embrace their coming death mentally ill?

    I suppose that you believe that the Hetfield and McCoy feud started over a sow pig, and as such they all have a mental disorder or chemical imbalances.

    So what says you Mikeb?


  5. Anonymous, You say what Bob has been saying to me for months, that when someone wants to kill the tool they choose is unimportant. I say that's true only in some cases. In some other cases, the high efficacy of the gun as a "killing tool" makes all the difference.

  6. Mike,

    There are 270,000,000 million firearms in America, at least.

    That is the unofficial, official guessestimate. No body knows exactly how many there are. Although we can't know exactly how many there are, we can agree that in scientific terms there are a "shitload", right?

    Estimates put the number of homes that have firearms in them around 40%, does that sound reasonable?

    And we can agree that firearms are very efficient at what they do, which is to send a metal object out of a barrel at high speed, right?

    Now, I've presented two easily verifiable numbers here, both easily accepted as common sense.

    Here is where your common sense jumps the rails.

    If firearms are so available, why don't MORE domestic disputes end up with gun violence?

    If firearms are so available, why don't more violent domestic disputes end up with someone dead?

    If firearms are so available, why don't more crimes involve firearms?

    48 states have some form of concealed carry laws, 39 are shall issue (meaning once a set of standardized criteria are met, a license MUST be issued).

    EVERY statistic shows that firearms are only used in approximately 10% of all violent crime........doesn't that contradict the easy availability argument?

    In some other cases, the high efficacy of the gun as a "killing tool" makes all the difference.

    See, here is another distortion that I find troubling. Especially from a former Marine. You should know that handguns are actually ineffective as a "killing tool".

    From the not gun friendly New England Journal of Medicine (can hardly accuse them of a pro-gun bias can you Mike?)

    Methods Records of the police, medical examiners, ambulance crews, and hospital emergency departments and hospital admissions were monitored to identify all injuries caused by firearms that were severe enough to prompt emergency medical treatment. These records were linked to generate a complete picture of each event. Census data were used to calculate rates of injury for various population groups.

    Results A total of 1915 cases of injury due to firearms were identified between November 16, 1992, and May 15, 1994. The crude rate of firearm injury per 100,000 person-years was 222.6 in Memphis, 143.6 in Galveston, and 54.1 in Seattle. Approximately 88 percent of the injuries were incurred during confirmed or probable assaults; 7 percent were sustained in the course of suicide or attempted suicide; unintentional injuries accounted for 4 percent of the cases. Handguns were used in 88 percent of the cases in which the type of weapon was recorded. Five percent of the 1677 victims who were brought to a hospital emergency department could not be resuscitated; 53 percent were hospitalized, and 42 percent were treated and released. Ninety-seven percent of the deaths occurred within 24 hours of the injury. Emergency department and inpatient charges exceeded $16.5 million.

    So, the paper presents it's method and the result....results being what Mike?

    53 percent being hospitalized, 42 % being treated and released.

    Only 5% could not be again tell me how deadly firearms are?

    See how easy it is to fall into the role of a lying or ignorant ant-gun banner?

    So, which is it with you Mike; are you deliberately lying about the lethality of firearms or are you just ignorant and spouting off anyways?

    The propaganda the anti-firearms groups puts out is full of that type of misleading information. It is easy to refute.

    I'm sorry I didn't provide a greater range of data to refute it. I'm just really not up to it today. It was a very tough night last night.

  7. Mikeb, you seem to have ignored my question about peoples mental status and death. Now I am a new reader of your blog, so I do not know what Bob S, has been saying to you. I really do not read others comments.

  8. Anonymous asked, "Oh yes, and since when does talking about death, how sweet it is, and the darkness mean that a person has mental issues? People might be fearful of death, some people embrace it. So are all people who embrace their coming death mentally ill?"

    The girl was 15, had a terrible childhood, abandoned by the mother, father a convicted murderer, and was supposedly writing dark stuff about death according to the schoolmate Lucille. That adds up to mental issues for me.

    Sorry I didn't answer sooner. I hope you don't think there was some particular reason I didn't other than being busy and not getting to all the questions.

  9. Wow Mike,

    You never told us that you had a degree in psychology.

    I'm impressed that you can diagnose someone from newspaper clippings.

  10. Actually all of you who are commenting are wrong and lucille is right teah did have serious problems and she was going to attempt suicide in forn of Amanda but turned the gun at the last minute and not only did her father and mother abandon her but he rmother also used to molest her, and she has attempted suicide many times to escape the world including slitting her wrists and swallowing bleach, so b4 u judge someone, you should investigate more, she wasnt just some sick bitch, she really has had a rough life.

  11. Chantal, Thanks for your comment confirming the obvious fact that Teah had serious problems. Isn't it unbelievable that some of my blog buddies go to such lengths to argue with that? I'm afraid these guys are so hung up on the idea of personal responsibility that they can't see the forest for the trees.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the case with us.

  12. Mike,

    There is a fundamental difference between having horrible things happen to a person and having mental problems because of the horrible things that have happened to a person.

    I'm not denying that Teah had problems in her life but that doesn't automatically mean she wasn't competent in a legal, moral, and ethical sense.

    When do you stop making excuses for a person's behavior?

    Thousands, if not millions of people have had experiences identical to Teah's but they don't kill their friends in school.

    By excusing Teah as she wasn't capable of controlling her actions denigrates the achievements, the non-crimes of all the others.

  13. *I am a different Anon. poster than the one above*

    I do not have a degree in psychology, but I am in the middle of schooling for one (combined with an English degree), and as such have quite a bit of fresh knowledge in my head from an Abnormal Psych. class on what does and does not constitute a mental issue or disorder. To top that off, I have suffered from major depressive episodes since I was 5 years of age (yes, even young children can have mental problems, especially when coming from broken homes, abusive situations, peer isolation and bullying, and non-existent social support systems--all of which is exasperated by predetermining genetics and biological issues.)

    People constantly try to narrow-focus these cases into a single-cause of bad homelife, bad stuff at school, bad genes, just plain bad people incapable of proper decision making. I am constantly amazed by the attitude of "well, I've had a hard life and I sucked it up by my bootstraps, so it's her damn fault that she wasn't able to do the same." Really? Ever take a look to see what social support was actually available to you? Ever take a look to see what mental disorders didn't run in your family, meaning you were never predisposed to having issues in the first place? Ever take a look at how much money people around you made and think that maybe if they hadn't had that kind of cash, the same system that helped you drag yourself up and be sane might not have been available to another person? Self-will and determination can only go so far; at some point, you caught a break, you caught a coincidental good thing, someone gave you a hand, someone hired you for a job, someone took a chance on you. Not everyone gets that.

    There is no reductionist theory that will help either of you here. Getting rid of guns will not help get rid of killers. Passing off a young girl's mental problems as BS will not explain why she had those problems in the first place. Playing the friggin' "Atlas Shrugged" game of self determinism will never eliminate the social and genetic influences in how people develop mentally and emotionally. What causes a horrible case like this is a MULTITUDE of issues that need to be addressed, not some single-solution theory of either getting rid of all guns or just killing the killer and hoping that capital punishment deters the next mentally damaged, socially damaged, financially damaged, whatever-damaged individual from committing the same crime, all over again.

    Shift the paradigm. Start thinking about ALL the things in our society that need changed, from the glorifying of weapons of destruction like guns and bombs (Halo V, anyone?), from the horrid rejection and dejection of a person based on their sexuality or their color or their mental defect, from our individual selfishness that keeps us from helping others, all the way to our need to place blame on a single source when often there isn't one and blame is really the last thing that will help solve the problem in the first place.

  14. Anon, Thanks for that wonderful comment. You're absolutely right, there's a lot more to it than gun availability.