Pella Chronicle

CNHI/Southeast Iowa

October 1, 2012

Arterburn expected to take the stand today

OSKALOOSA — Brad Arterburn is expected to take the witness stand Monday afternoon in the fifth day of his first-degree murder trial in Mahaska County District Court.

Arterburn, 27, of Oskaloosa, has been charged with the first-degree murder of his mother’s boyfriend, Robert Henry “Hank” Horovitz, 58, of Davenport, on June 19, 2011. Arterburn entered a plea of not guilty in Mahaska County Court July 12, 2011.

Arterburn’s defense counsel called for a recess to allow their defense psychiatric professional witness be available to view Arterburn’s testimony. The prosecution’s professional psychiatric witness also will view Arterburn’s time on the stand.

During three days of testimony in Arterburn’s trial, the events of June 19, 2011, are not in dispute. However, Arterburn’s motives and perception are the crux of the trial.

The defense argues that Arterburn was so traumatized by childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by his stepfather David Myers, that similarities between him and his mother’s latest boyfriend, Horovitz, pushed him over the edge to do what he did.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Eva Christiansen believed Arterburn had trouble distinguishing between Myers and Horovitz.

“I thought he believed that he was going to be molested again,” Christensen said.

Christensen said Arterburn did not know the nature and quality of his actions on June 19, 2011.

“I don’t think he was thinking ‘right or wrong.’ He was reacting,” she said.

Christensen said that Arterburn’s flashbacks to his childhood abuse were triggered by Horovitz’s wearing of khaki pants, like his abuser, and references Horovitz made toward Arterburn’s dog.

The prosecution, however, argues that Arterburn knew who he attacked on June 19, 2011.

DCI agent Adam De Camp interviewed Arterburn in the hospital on the night of June 19-20, 2011. De Camp said that Arterburn had admitted to attacking Horovitz. Arterburn said he did it in order to hurt his mother, Linda Arterburn, he added.

De Camp testified that Arterburn also talked about David Myers, his step father who sexually molested him when he was young.

De Camp said that Arterburn never confused the two people.

“He never said he was attacking David Myers,” De Camp said.

The trial will resume at 1 p.m. in Mahaska County District Court.

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