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Attorneys for Ruby Claim Client Suffers Brain Damage

Jan. 19, 1964 - Attorneys for Jack Ruby (left) will base their defense on a psychologist’s report that he suffers from organic brain damage. They will attempt to prove that damage to Ruby’s brain has produced a form of epilepsy. Ruby shot to death Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy, last Nov. 24. Those familiar with plans for his defense said that a Yale University psychologist had reported that Ruby’s brain is physically damaged. The psychologist, Dr. Roy Schafer, a 41-year-old specialist in psychological testing, will be called by the defense tomorrow to testify at the resumption of Ruby’s bail-bond hearing. Ruby’s lawyers will produce Dr. Schafer’s report at the bail hearing rather than waiting for his murder trial to begin Feb. 10 because they want the diagnosis widely circulated. “It would be no good trying to spring this on the jury at the end of the trial,” one person acquainted with the case said. “We want people to begin to realize what a pitiful fellow this man is.”

Dr. Schafer’s findings are understood to contain indications that Ruby’s reported illness could lead him, under certain circumstances, to kill again or to commit suicide. A hearing to determine whether Ruby should be released on bail began Dec. 23. After three hours, the hearing was continued until Jan. 10 and then postponed until tomorrow. Ruby is represented by Melvin Belli (right) of San Francisco, Sam Brody of Los Angeles, and Joe Tonahill of Jasper, Tex. The lawyers will petition tomorrow to have the trial moved from Dallas. Mr. Belli said he wants to see the case tried “out of the range of influence of The Dallas Morning News.”


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