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Dervish attorneys explain defense

Craig Smith will have an update to this story in our evening newscasts.

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) As a child, Murad Dervish pulled a knife on his baby sitter. That was one detail taht came out today as attorneys for Dervish, charged with the 2022 on-campus murder of University of Arizona professor Thomas Meixner, put on their defense.

His defense is working to make a case for ‘guilty except insane’. That would lock him in a psychiatric hospital instead of prison for killing Professor Meixner.

If it’s true that no one knows you like your own mother, Dervish’s mother had quite a story to tellincluding an account of him pulling a knife on a baby sitter.

Dervish’s mother Patricia Grace said Murad Dervish had a difficult birth. He was not born head first. He was blue from oxygen deprivation but later appeared to be fine.

She described young Murad Dervish as a good student but impulsive and unpredictable.

Grace said she remembered a day when Dervish was 10 years old: She came home, expected to find the babysitter, but didnt:

Patricia Grace: “If I remember correctly the neighbor was there instead. And he told me he had pulled a knife on the babysitter. Defense Attorney Derek Miller: “Your son told you that?” Patricia Grace: He did.

Prosecutors say after threats from Dervish led the U of A to expel him, he held Thomas Meixner responsible and took his revenge.

Patricia Grace said her son Dervish was forced into psychiatric treatment twice, once in 1995 and again 2011. She said her son had physically abused her, but did not say more about what happened.

She said more recently phone calls from Dervish were often so combative shed block him and change her number. But her son left this voicemail on October 5, 2022, after Thomas Meixner was dead:

Mom. I gotta talk to you. I shot that guy. I hope hes dead. I guess I have to kill myself now.