People v. Felix Day 11: School Psychologist Testifies

John Hernandez Felix, the man charged with the murders of Palm Springs Police Officers Jose ‘Gil’ Vega and Lesley Zerebny, looked down as a school psychologist described the body of his academic work from first grade through high school at the Palm Springs Unified School District.

PSUSD school psychologist Sheryl Deeds says Felix was never identified as being intellectually disabled but was in special education most of his school life because of a learning disability that was diagnosed in third grade.

The prosecution tried to show Felix’s poor grades were impacted not by a learning disability but by chronic absences and his learning disability had no effect on his intelligence and ability to function as a normal rational adult in the world.

Deeds read aloud from the notes on of of his transcript, “John is a friendly student, well liked by his peers and adults.”

She went on to read a high school evaluation that said he’s easy going and had friends.

“John wants to pursue a criminal justice major at a community college and hopes to one day be a cop,” read Deeds.

Felix s attorney John Patrick Dolan hammered away trying to show the complete opposite: a boy who struggled in school because of a low I.Q. and learning disability. The psychologist went on to read from the same transcript that said Felix would sign up to community college as a disabled student.

But the prosecution boldly asked if Felix’s auditory processing disorder would affect his ability to use a firearm.

Deeds answered, “No.”

The defense also called clinical psychologist Marjorie Graham-Howard to speak about the effects methamphetamine has on the brain and behavior. The prosecution questioned her expertise and tried to impeach her altogether claiming in a previous case she was biased because she tried to modify a report to suit the defense. Graham tried to explain she was only including relevant information for the case.

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