- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 17, 2017

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. (AP) - A defense attorney says a “perfect storm” of drug abuse and mental illness led his client to open fire with a semi-automatic rifle outside a northeastern Pennsylvania shopping center two years ago.

The (Wilkes-Barre) Citizens’ Voice reports that the defense argued Tuesday in opening statements that 33-year-old Scott Sargent opened fire in “self-defense” because he felt he was being attacked by people following him.

Defense attorney Joseph Yeager says his client “had issues” with drugs, alcohol and mental illness and “at times … was delusional and paranoid.”

Luzerne County prosecutors say police exchanged fire with Sargent in the crowded Wilkes-Barre township parking lot near Walmart in October 2015, wounding him.

Assistant District Attorney Jarrett Ferentino said Sargent chose a “high traffic, high civilians, high terror” location and police were “outgunned.”

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Information from: The Citizens’ Voice, https://www.citizensvoice.com


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