A Texas man claims he was sleepwalking when he fatally shot his wife of 35 years a total of six times, including twice in the head and once in the back. Raymond Lazarine of Houston, whose murder trial began this week, admits to the shooting on Dec. 18, 2013. His son, Nathan, describes finding his mother, 63-year-old Deborah, dead on the living room floor of his parents’ home after receiving a call from his father that day. A retired detective who investigated the killing recalls Lazarine making “an off-the-wall comment” along the lines of “‘This is like a dream I wish I could wake up from,'” per NBC News. But at the start of Lazarine’s trial, defense lawyer Feroz Merchant said his 67-year-old client suffered from a sleep disorder and was sleepwalking at the time of the crime so that he wasn’t fully responsible.
“Our position over here is this was a dream and it wasn’t voluntary,” Merchant said, per KPRC. “We’ve had him evaluated, and obviously the experts are going to come by and say hey, we think he suffers from a medical condition.” Four men who were previously incarcerated with Lazarine have testified that he would walk in his sleep, day and night, per KTRK. Nathan Lazarine testified that his father had been seeing a psychiatrist for over a decade and had been prescribed psychotropic drugs, which he sometimes mixed with alcohol. Krysta Johns, however, said Lazarine was a controlling stepfather who’d threatened to kill her mother many times. She described one decades-old event in which Lazarine allegedly pinned down Deborah and held a gun under her chin.