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Attorneys for accused fake doctor Malachi Love-Robinson exploring insanity defense

Posted at 6:50 PM, Aug 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-12 18:50:52-04

We know him as 'Dr. Love'

Police say Malachi Love-Robinson -- who's just a teenager -- practiced medicine without a license. Now, he and his legal team are considering an insanity defense.      

Just last month, attorneys for the so called 'Dr. Love'  filed documents saying they are "exploring the viability of a defense focused on limitations presented by the defendant's mental health"

Attorney Michael Salnick, who is not associated with this case, has more than 3 decades of legal experience, and has been involved in insanity defense cases.

"What that means is you have to admit to the crime, and then you go for a legal defense to demonstrate why you committed the crime," he says. 

He tells us proving 'insanity' is an uphill battle.

He says John Hinckley's insanity defense in the wake of his attempted assassination of President Reagan turned public opinion.

"That sort of set things up for an attitude towards the insanity defense," Salnick says. "That is horrible for those who have a legitimate medical issue."

Two factors will likely be key to determining if Malachi Love-Robinson's team can successfully mount that defense.

First, his overall mental health, which will be evaluated by experts.

"If they tell me it's there, I take it to the bank. If they tell me it's not there, I'm not going to go shopping for 10 other experts," Salnick says. "I'm going to have to look at another way to deal with the case."

Documents indicate Love-Robinson has undergone an evaluation, but the results haven't been made public.

Factor two - the jury selection.

"You have to craft your questions in such a way that a jury understands you're not trying to put one over on them, it's not a technicality," Salnick says.

With an insanity defense in tow, the right diagnosis and the right jury could mean Love-Robinson would avoid jail time.

Even if a not guilty by reason of insanity defense works -- that doesn't mean he is free to go.

He could be committed to a mental hospital by a judge.

Love-Robinson returns to court Monday morning.