Post traumatic disorder expert witness Maria Mouratidis testified yesterday at Camp Pendleton that brain damage and mental illness may have impaired the judgment of Marine Cpl. Trent Thomas. Thomas is charged with assisting in the kidnapping and execution of a man in Hamdaniya, Iraq, on April 26, 2006. Expert witness Mouratidis, head of the Traumatic Stress and Brain Injury Program at Bethesda Naval Medical Center in Maryland, said Thomas suffers from mild traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from exposure to explosions and other combat factors. Mouratidis testified that the two mental problems might have caused Thomas to take part in the alleged abduction and murder plot. SignOnSanDiego also reports:
“In a situation that is high-pressured, Cpl. Thomas would have found it very difficult to act in any way other than the way his superiors wanted him to,” Mouratidis said. She testified that Thomas told her about withstanding 25 to 30 bomb blasts in Iraq, including four that knocked him out. In addition, psychological tests show that Thomas lacks impulse control and the ability to properly process and assess things going on around him, Mouratidis said.