Chronic use of methamphetamine by Blaine Keith Milam may have played a factor in his actions leading to the death of 13-month-old Amora Bain Carson, a psychology professor testified Monday.
During the sentencing phase of Milam’s capital murder trial, Paula Lundberg-Love, an expert in psychopharmacology and professor at the University of Texas at Tyler, explained the effects drug use has on the brain and behavior, including “believing there were demons and that demons were changing the facial structure of the child,” she said.
Psychopharmacology deals with the psychological effects of drugs.
Milam, who was convicted May 17 in Amora’s Dec. 2, 2008 beating death, faces the death penalty.
Amora’s mother, Jessica Carson, also is charged with capital murder and is being detained at the Rusk County Jail.
Paranoia and hallucinations are effects of methamphetamine, Lundberg-Love said, including “believing there were demons and that demons were changing the facial structure of the child.
However, Texas Assistant Attorney General Lisa Tanner, who is assisting Rusk County District Attorney Micheal Jimerson with the prosecution, said there is no proof drug use made Milam kill Amora.
“In all of the testimony given here today you have used the word ‘maybe’ a lot,” Tanner said. “This may be because of his use of methamphetamine and it may not, right?”
However, lead defense attorney Rick Hagan said the studies Lundberg-Love presented [show] there is a “strong suggestion” methamphetamine use made Milam commit the murder.
Milam had high levels of methamphetamine in his blood when detained, which Lundberg-Love said suggested the level in Milam’s blood was much higher before he was detained.