News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Diver Down: Defense Rests in Murder Trial of Wetsuit-Wearing Reston Resident

A psychologist hired by Evan Garguilo's defense attorneys testified on behalf of the former Reston resident, charged in the November 2008 murder of a taxi driver in Tysons Corner.

Stanton E. Samenow, who has written numerous books and articles on criminal psychology, said he agreed to testify on behalf of Evan D. Gargiulo after interviewing him for a potential sentencing hearing. Gargiulo, 23, is charged with murder in the November 2008 killing of Mazhar Nazir, 49, inside Nazir's cab. He has claimed that the shooting was in self-defense.

After spending more than 28 hours with the jailed defendant, Samenow concluded that Gargiulo had led such a sheltered life, and had developed such an exaggerated paranoia, that he could not distinguish right from wrong when he shot Nazir in the back of the head.

Samenow said Gargiulo's dismay at being robbed and his "enormous fear" of Nazir caused him to shoot without thinking of the consequences. "I haven't encountered somebody with this level of fear," Samenow said. He said there is no formal definition of Gargiulo's mental condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the accepted reference book for courts trying to parse mental illness and criminal culpability.

Samenow said later that his first appearance for the defense in an insanity case in 40 years showed that he has an open mind after decades of examining mentally ill defendants and finding them criminally responsible. He testified that he was paid $25,000 by the defense, which rested with Samenow as its only witness.
Of course, if the situation was reversed, we doubt Nazir's family could have scraped together $25,000 for an expert witness.


  1. Sheltered life? I wonder what that means!

  2. He has claimed that the shooting was in self-defense.
    he could not distinguish right from wrong when he shot Nazir in the back of the head.

    the shooting was in self-defense.
    he shot Nazir in the back of the head.

    back of the head.

    Hmmm... Something just isn't adding up here. I wonder what it could be...

  3. You must be kidding me. I hope the jury puts this guy away for good.

  4. Good thing none of you know what the situation is. It's always nice to speculate from the outside. You hope the jury puts him away for good? Don't speak out of your ass, speculation has never done any good for anyone.

  5. "Good thing none of you know what the situation is?" Really? The man was shot in the back of the head. Sorry, there is no justification for that. This punk took a father away from his son.

  6. Really? you know he did? So you didn't read any of the other articles that came out during the trial talking about the fact that there was a fight before the gun was fired. Don't speak when you aren't educated, you look like a fool.

  7. Actually, only he claimed there was a struggle -- but that was proven to be untrue when they found that the driver had been shot while still strapped into his seat belt. Just another rich kid who tried to lie his way out of trouble, and when that didn't work, had his parents buy the best possible defense expert money can buy.


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