Alleged Killer on God's 'Mission'

Friday, May 12th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) — Angel Maturino Resendiz, the Texas Railroad Killer, has no remorse and no awareness that he committed any horrendous crimes because he believes he is on a divine mission to eliminate evil, a psychiatrist testified in his defense Friday.

``That doesn't appear a recognition that he wants to stop and can't,'' said Dr. Bruce Cohen, a forensic psychiatrist. ``He's saying, `I can't stop even if I wanted to, because God's force is on my side and God wants me to destroy evil and that's why I can't stop.'''

Maturino Resendiz, 40, has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity in the 1998 rape, bludgeoning and stabbing of a Houston-area physician, Dr. Claudia Benton. He has admitted to eight other killings — five in Texas, two in Illinois and one in Kentucky — over a two-year period starting in 1997.

Under Texas law, a person can only be found innocent by reason of insanity if the defense can prove the person was suffering from a mental disease and couldn't discern right from wrong.

Cohen, who interviewed the defendant and reviewed dozens of his letters from jail, spent his second day on the stand as testimony in the capital murder trial was winding up its first week.

On Thursday, Cohen testified that Maturino Resendiz believes he evaded police for so long because he moved at superhuman speed and was protected by God, the psychiatrist said. Also, police tracking dogs didn't want to confront a ``wolf-tiger angel with a dinosaur look,'' Cohen said.