By VANESSA WALKER & DINA EXIL
The trial of a mentally ill man who hacked a psychotherapist to death with a meat cleaver resumed on Tuesday with the testimony of an attacked colleague who came to the victim’s aid and was severely injured by the assailant.
Defendant David Tarloff was charged with killing Kathryn Faughey, 56, and assaulting her office mate psychiatrist Kent Shinbach in a Manhattan office in 2008 and his trial has been postponed many times due to his courtroom outbursts and five years of uncertainty about whether Tarloff was mentally fit to stand trial.
On the witness stand in Manhattan Supreme Court Shinbach described the grisly scene: responding to noises coming from Faughey’s room, he found her body covered in blood and heard someone say, “She’s dead. She’s dead.”
The therapist recalled being pushed from behind and Tarloff standing over him with a knife and saying, “I will kill you.”
Shinbach also testified that he saw Tarloff holding a rusty meat clever with a missing handle. In an attempt to wrestle the weapon from Tarloff, Shinbach slashed his finger and was pinned to the wall.
He said he recalled Tarloff saying “How do you like that?”
Tarloff allegedly asked the therapist for $1,000 and when Shinbach declined, he decreased the amount to $500, then $250. Shinbach said Tarloff took $90, his driver’s license and bankcard from his wallet.
“He said, ‘Now I know where you live,’“ said Shinbach.
“You’ve already killed someone why don’t you get out of here,” said Shinbach as Tarloff left the room.
Shinbach recalled Tarloff threatening to use a gun but he did not see one.
Shinbach suffered cuts to his left wrist and left cheek.
EMT Brain Sackf also took the stand, testifying that the cuts were severe and Shinbach needed surgery to reconnect tendons in his left arm and the scar on his left check. Photos of Shinbach injuries were presented in court.
Tarloff told investigators he went to the doctors’ offices with plans to rob a doctor who had treated him years earlier. It was unclear why Dr. Faughey was attacked.
The defense admits the killing but argues that the defendant is not guilty by reason of insanity.