W.Va. lawyers seek out-of-state vets for PTSD defense

Exponent Telegram photo by Matt Harvey Sidney Arthur Muller
Exponent Telegram photo by Matt Harvey Sidney Arthur Muller
Exponent Telegram photo by Matt Harvey
Sidney Arthur Muller

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — A Marion County man charged in a July 2013 Clarksburg quadruple homicide wants to depose two out-of-state witnesses to try to prove a diminished capacity defense due to combat in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the state’s witness list in the case against Sidney Arthur Muller, 29, drew the ire of Harrison Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell on Monday due to its size.

Muller is scheduled for a trial beginning Aug. 17 on four murder charges.

Muller’s lawyers, Steve Bratke and Sam Harrold III, say in a motion that they already have experts who will support a diminished capacity defense “that relies in part upon his medical diagnosis of PTSD due to his military service.”

But the motion also notes the defense will have “to prove that (Muller) was exposed to traumatic stressful events and circumstances.”

Further, “the Defendant’s military records are insufficient to establish the required level of proof,” Bratke and Harrold wrote.

The defense attorneys want to depose Dana Oaks, a police officer in Greeley, Colorado, who served with Muller in Afghanistan, the motion contends.

“The two experienced combat together and (Oaks) is prepared to testify as to those experiences and about Sidney Muller’s combat experiences,” the motion contends.

The defense also wants to depose Herman Lubbe of the Washington, D.C., area, who served with Muller in Iraq…

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