Was the man charged with shooting and killed University of Arizona professor Thomas Meixner too insane to know what he did was wrong, and for that does he deserve time in a mental hospital instead of prison?

Those are the questions we expect to hear in the trial of Murad Dervish, on trial for the on-campus shooting and killing of Meixner in October of 2022, which is getting underway Tuesday.

For Dervish to be found guilty but insane, jurors must be convinced Dervish was so deranged he did not know his actions were wrong. So prosecutors are pointing to his planning and his attempted getaway as proof he understood very well what he was doing.

Prosecutors portrayed Dervish Tuesday as a man whose angry outbursts got him expelled and whose continued anger drove him to murder.

Several witnesses read threatening emails from Dervish with language we simply cannot put on the air.

Prosecutor Haley Weigold described how Dervish blamed Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences Head Thomas Meixner for his expulsion, how Dervish waited outside Meixner’s office, and shot him nine times.

She played the 911 call of office workers calling for help.

If the jury chooses ‘guilty except insane,’ instead of first degree murder, the judge will still impose a sentence that will keep Dervish locked awaybut in a mental hospital. If he’s diagnosed as insane he could be released under the supervision of a special psychiatric board.

The courtroom has been close to full with members of the Meixner family and supporters filling the seats.

Trial coverage will continue Wednesday.