An accidental shooting. That’s how the clinical psychologist who testified Thursday described Logan Mott’s 2017 murder of his grandmother.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Marty Beyer was the sole witness called on the second day of the teenager’s sentencing hearing. She spent hours delving into both the trauma she said he endured and his remorse for his crime.
Logan Mott confessed that he shot and repeatedly stabbed his own grandmother 53-year-old Kristina French, in 2017, before burying her in the backyard.
For the first time on Thursday, we heard how Logan himself explained his crime.
Beyer explored the psychological impacts of Logan's parents' bitter divorce, his own breakup with his first girlfriend and his struggle to stay ahead of his diabetic illness, which resulted in multiple hospitalizations
She said depression and alcohol abuse were consequences of years of trauma.
"Had he been evaluated by a psychiatrist for his suicidal thinking, he would have been hospitalized, because he had a lethal plan and a means to commit suicide," Beyer said. "He loved his grandmother and under normal circumstances, he would have been protective, but he reacted in the moment without using moral thinking at all."
Beyer described the weeks before Logan murdered his grandmother as a “tragic slide downhill” but said the shooting itself was accidental and "reflexive." She said Logan was attempting to run away when he went to retrieve a gun from the room where his grandmother was sleeping. She said he was drunk, and his blood sugar was out of whack and he wasn’t thinking clearly. When his grandmother woke, he shot her.
Beyer described Logan recounting the crime, saying his face lost all color and he sobbed. She testified that he told her, "Burying her was the right thing to do the only thing I could do." He said he burned sage and removed her clothes because it would be "disrespectful" to bury her in bloody clothes.
"I put towels on her so she would be covered," Mott said. "I’ll never be able to forgive myself. I killed my own grandmother."
Circuit Judge Bruce Anderson seemed to be taking in Beyer's testimony, asking her several direct questions, and describing Logan Mott’s state of mind as “a perfect storm" and a "vicious cycle."
Judge Anderson has great discretion in choosing a prison sentence in the range of the plea agreement, between 15 and 45 years.
The hearing continues Friday at 2 p.m. with testimony from Logan’s mother.