Local News

Sapikowski Had Flashbacks Of Killing Parents, Psychiatrist Says

Posted November 17, 2005

— A hospital psychiatrist said that a Chapel Hill teenager, who police say admitted to killing his parents, suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder and had flashbacks of killing his parents.

Adam Sapikowski, 17, is accused of shooting and killing his parents, James Sapikowski, 52, and Allison Sapikowski, 49, who were found dead in May at their Chapel Hill home.

In September, Sapikowski was moved to a psychiatric hospital in Butner after he sent a note to a jailer that said he was thinking about killing himself.

But during a court hearing Wednesday on the teenager's mental health, State psychiatrist Dr. Olivier Goust said that Sapikowski had been showing signs of improvement and no longer needed to be placed on suicide watch, but still needs medication.

It was not until after Sapikowski learned that he was going to be transferred, Goust said, that the defendant relapsed.

"He's pretty distressed," said one of Sapikowski's new defense attorneys, Johnny Gaskin, on his client's mental state. "He's in about as bad a situation as you can imagine."

As he entered the courtroom Wednesday, Sapikowski barely glanced at his older brother and when he sat down at his attorneys' desk, he cried.

A psychiatrist for the defense blamed part of the mental problems on the lack of support from Sapikowski's family, but Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Sapikowski's family is concerned about him.

"They want Adam to be in the best place he can be pending trial," Woodall said.

The state Department of Correction and the state Division of Health and Human Services decided that Sapikowski would be held at Raleigh's Central Prison while he waits for his trial, which may not be until late next summer.

Sapikowski's defense attorneys, Gaskins and Rosemary Godwin -- both of Raleigh -- have replaced public defender James Williams, who told Superior Court Judge Wade Barber Wednesday that the teenager was no longer indigent and could afford his own lawyers. None of the attorneys, however, would say how Sapikowski could now afford to pay them.

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