Deters also described the “gory death” of Ronchi’s mother from cancer — alluding to graphic details that had not previously been provided to jurors — as the source of his PTSD.
By the time of the killing, Deters said, Ronchi’s mother had died; he was estranged from his only sibling, Emil; and he had no other close friends. The psychologist told jurors the only significant people in Ronchi’s life at the time were his children and his girlfriend, Galperina.
(There was no reference by Deters to Susan Slowick, a woman Ronchi had been spending an increasing amount of time with in the six months before Galperina’s death).
Deters had not testified about his opinion on Ronchi’s state of mind at the time of the killing when testimony ended for the day.
Deters acknowledged the possibility that Ronchi could exaggerate or fake some complaints in order to appear worse, a concept called “malingering.” But he went on to cite tests that are intended to detect that.
Prosecutor Jean Curran told the judge later yesterday that she wants access to those tests, in order to look at what kind of weight Deters gave certain answers, in order to prepare for her cross-examination next week.
Deters’ testimony yesterday was one of two central pieces of Ronchi’s defense that came up yesterday.
Later in the day, after the jurors were sent home for the weekend, Yitaliy Yeziersky, the father of Galperina’s younger daughter, was called to the stand for a hearing to determine whether he would be required to answer a question put to him by the defense on Thursday: Had Galperina told him that the child was not his?
Ronchi says Galperina provoked the fatal stabbing by telling him that. If a second man were to make the same claim, it would potentially bolster Ronchi’s account.