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Crescent City CA criminal trial: Former MMA fighter tortured, killed friend

California criminal lawyer news: A former MMA fighter faces murder, aggravated mayhem and torture charges for killing friend during mushroom trip.

06/02/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks

Crescent City, CA – A California man will be arraigned Friday, June 4, 2010 on charges of murder, aggravated mayhem and torture in the killing of his friend, 21-year-old Taylor Powell, according to The Daily Triplicate.

Jarrod Wyatt, 26, of Klamath, is accused of cutting his friend’s heart from his chest and tearing off his face in a gruesome attack spurred by hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Del Norte County Sheriff’s Deputy Elwood Lee testified that he arrived at the scene after the incident in March and found Wyatt naked and covered in dried blood. Next to Wyatt was a body on the couch with an 18-inch incision in the chest and most of its face removed.

Lee said Wyatt admitted to the crime then, telling him, “I killed him,” and that “Satan was in that dude.”

Wyatt is believed to have cut out the man’s tongue and cooked parts of his body because he thought that Powell was still alive.

The two friends practiced mixed martial arts together.

Wyatt’s defense attorney claims that Wyatt had a psychotic break and could not control his actions. He stated his argument, “My client was trying to silence the devil…I think he was having a psychotic fit based on the mushrooms he had.”

Witnesses at the preliminary hearing that took place on the week of May 24 reported that Wyatt and Powell became convinced a tidal wave was coming. They believed it was the end of the word and the final struggle between God and Satan was about to happen.

Two others ingested the mushroom tea. Wyatt’s ex-girlfriend, Billy Jo Bailey, and another man were at the scene. Bailey reported she thought she heard the men wrestling but realized it was worse when she saw Wyatt curled on the floor and Powell on the couch. The fourth man called 911 after discovering what was happening.

Wyatt faces first-degree murder charges if premeditation can be proved.

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