A Tennessee man convicted of murder for shooting up a Nashville church in 2017 was suffering from severe mental illness. That’s according to testimony from a Vanderbilt University forensic psychiatrist during a Tuesday sentencing hearing.
Emanuel Kidega Samson faces life in prison for killing Melanie Crow and wounding seven other people at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ. The jury must decide whether his sentence will include the possibility of parole after 51 years.
Samson left a note that suggested the shooting was payback for a 2015 massacre at a South Carolina black church. Samson is black and his victims were white.
In prerecorded testimony on Tuesday, psychiatrist Stephen Montgomery said the note was bizarre because nothing else in the 27-year-old’s history indicates racial hatred or ideology.