A former Publix employee, accused of murder, may not be insane, just difficult to get along with.
Arunya Rouch is on trial for killing a co-worker in a Publix parking lot in March 2010. Her defense lawyers say she was driven into a temporary psychotic episode because of a hostile work environment.
The defense contends Rouch frequently fought with the man she shot, Greg Janowski. But assistant state attorney Fred Schaub suggested Wednesday Rouch has a history of fights, including recently in the Pinellas County Jail.
Schaub told Judge Timothy Peters her history of problems with fellow inmates would undermine a potential claim of temporary insanity.
"If they (the defense) try in any way to say she was a good prisoner and a good inmate then that doesn't really reflect accurately," Schaub said.
Rouch's defense team maintains constant harassment drove her to insanity. George Tragos worried allowed evidence of Rouch's disciplinary history could weaken a psychiatrist's insanity diagnosis.
"This material may or may not be relevant to his diagnosis, I don't know," Tragos told Judge Peters. "If the defendant were to testify, this would be something the defendant would raise. I cannot tell the court that this would not come up."
In the meantime, Tragos claimed Rouch's civil rights are being violated. When she returned to jail after court Tuesday, her bedding, a cup and clothing had been taken from her cell. Schaub acknowledged some of Rouch's personal items had been taken and said it was because she is on suicide watch. He said deputies were trying to protect Rouch from herself.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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