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Day 5 of the Tyler Hadley resentencing hearing

Posted at 7:54 AM, Oct 05, 2018

An adolescent psychologist from William James College continued testifying in the Tyler Hadley resentencing hearing Friday morning.

The defense’s witness told the judge no single factor led Hadley to kill his parents in 2011.

He believes a combination of Hadley's depression, isolation, lack of self-confidence, failure to achieve and maintain positive engagements, his substance misuse and his intensifying conflict with his parents may have all played a role in what led the then teenager down a path that ultimately resulted in him murdering his parents. 

“I don’t know if that conflict with his parents that afternoon was the final straw,” said Dr. Robert Kinscherff, psychologist. 

When he was 17-years-old, Hadley killed his parents with a hammer, piled up household items on their bodies and threw a party at their Port St. Lucie home. He plead no contest to avoid trial and was convicted to two consecutive life sentences.

A Florida Supreme Court decision made changes to the way juveniles are sentenced and courts overturned Hadley’s double life sentence. A 19th judicial circuit judge will now decide Hadley's new sentence. 

On Friday, defense attorney Diamond Litty repeatedly asked the defense’s expert witness Kinscherff, based on his medical evaluation of Hadley and review of reports and notes from other doctors who evaluated Hadley, if he believed Hadley could be rehabilitated.  

Kinscherff said he believes at this point in his life, Hadley looks like a young adult who has created a track record of rehabilitation.

The witness at first would not say whether Hadley could be rehabilitated until the defense attorney asked again. 

“I think Mr. Hadley is capable of rehabilitation particularly if he continues the institutional course,” added Kinscherff. 

During cross examination, prosecutor and Chief Assistant State Attorney Tom Bakkedahl questioned Kinscherff about how Hadley was able to convince a psychiatrist that he was going through psychosis, when he later admitted that he lied because he thought it might help him. 

"I think he has decided as a strategy to continue to manipulate … is not a wise strategy. He’s also indicated he doesn’t want to be that person,” said Kinscherff.

Prosecutor Bakkedahl brought up to the witness that 25 years into Hadley’s sentence he’s entitled to a resentencing.

Bakkedahl asked the witness if he thinks then, when Hadley is 42, if they would have a better idea of what kind of adult he has become. Kinscherff agreed. 

The prosecutor is aiming to convince the judge to resentence Hadley to life in prison, while Hadley's defense team is seeking the state minimum of 40 years. 

The defense team called Hadley's grandmother back on the stand Friday afternoon. Maggie DiVittorio said she would like to have him see the light of day some day. DiVittorio said she talks to her grandson every day sometimes more than once a day. She told the judge that Tyler has told her that he does cry.

Hadley could be seen getting emotional while hearing his grandmother testify. 

DiVittorio said in her heart she knows what he did, but knows how she feels and how her daughter would feel.