Photo credit Lori M. Nichols | For NJ.com
Excerpt from article by Rebecca Everett (NJ.com):
“Dennis Pozniak, 29, testified for roughly 5 1/2 hours in his murder trial Wednesday, talking about what he recalled about his mental illness, delusions and drug addiction that started when he was a teenager.
What he could not recall, not the next morning nor nearly two years later, is bludgeoning his girlfriend and her father to death with a pipe wrench while they slept, he testified.
He told jurors in Burlington Superior Court Wednesday that police told him after his Jan. 31, 2015 arrest that he had killed them, but we was “dumbfounded” because he did not recall it or even having feelings of wanting to harm them.
It wasn’t until his mother visited him — after his arrest and while he was recovering from his suicide attempt of the same night — that he realized it was real.
“The look on her face,” he said, made him think, “I guess I really did kill Nicole and Bryan.””
The decision process, preparation, and presentation of a client’s testimony is one of the most challenging parts of the job of a criminal defense attorney. It is particularly challenging in a case of this magnitude, and even more so when we have raised the defenses of diminished capacity and intoxication. Considering all of that, I am very pleased with my client’s testimony today. – Criminal Defense Attorney Tim Farrow
“Pozniak said he self-medicated with benzodiazepines, including Xanax and Valium, as well as alcohol and marijuana.
He said he sometimes had delusions he described as being like an “LSD trip.” At 18, he said, he began to feel that reality was just a projection of his own brain and consciousness. The drugs he took helped some, he said, and he tried to direct his brain away from strange thoughts.
He testified that he started dating Nicole Wilson roughly three years ago. Sometime in 2014, Pozniak said, Bryan Wilson’s drinking got worse and he moved into their Mount Holly home. Brianna Wilson began drinking heavily too, he said, and the house became chaotic. “Every day it was fighting, screaming, crying,” he said.
He left for a few days in December after a fight in which Nicole Wilson broke one of his teeth, he said. He denied Milavsky’s suggestion that he was the one who attacked her.
In the middle of January, he took his cousin’s Adderall pills and began swallowing and snorting them, he said. He couldn’t sleep much, he said, which made him “extremely vulnerable to freaking the hell out.”
Pozniak said he believed there was a large amount of money in the woods and even went looking for it three times. He had an auditory hallucination, he testified, thinking he heard Bryan and Brianna Wilson conspiring to kidnap his daughter. At work, where he felt overwhelmed and hated, people started to look like animated cartoons, he said. He told people he was going to kill himself, according to testimony.
On the morning of Jan. 30, 2015, he came home from work at 6 a.m. and found Bryan Wilson drinking on the couch, which he said frustrated but did not anger him. Throughout the day he “was getting pretty messed up” on drugs and he called out of work at night, he testified.
He told jurors that he told Nicole Wilson that if her father didn’t go somewhere to get help, he himself would leave. He decided to kill himself, he testified, and began planning it.
He testified that his memories of the night are scattered but he recalls trying to wake Nicole Wilson up while she slept on the couch, snorting Adderall in the basement, and taking all his pills with alcohol to try to commit suicide. He said the only other things he remembers from that night are gathering things to leave for his mom, texting his friend and standing in his room, covered in blood from cutting himself with a razor.
That was the last thing he remembered until the morning, he said, when he realized there was a house full of people and he was taken to the hospital.”
See the full article at NJ.com.
Tim Farrow, of Dash Farrow, LLP, is an experienced South Jersey criminal defense trial attorney and former Burlington County assistant prosecutor who handles criminal offenses of any kind. When you need experienced, focused, and responsive legal help for a criminal arrest in South Jersey, call Dash Farrow, LLP at 856-235-8300 or Contact Us Here. We serve individuals and businesses throughout Burlington and Camden Counties, as well as all of South Jersey.