A Navy doctor accused of shooting a psychiatrist and a San Diego police officer in September was characterized Wednesday at a military court hearing as psychotic and delusionary, but she will nonetheless be allowed to serve as her own attorney in an upcoming court-martial.
Lt. Cmdr. Ann Dalrymple, 37, faces the military equivalent of charges of assault with a deadly weapon and illegal possession of a firearm in the Sept. 25 incident, during which she barricaded herself in her quarters at the 32nd Street Naval Station.
Dalrymple has claimed self-defense in the shooting of Dr. James T. Fowler, who was shot in the finger as he tried to use a pass key to enter her apartment, and Police Officer Edward M. Verduzco, wounded in the knee as he and fellow SWAT officers stormed her apartment.
Navy officials said at the time they wanted to escort her to the Navy Hospital for evaluation because she was despondent over losing her hospital residency at UC San Diego Medical Center.
Dalrymple claimed shortly after the incident that she felt she was about to be taken against her will to undergo hospitalization.
“They came to my room and they tried to break in,” she told The Times in October. “They were arrogant enough to believe they could do that, and that’s part of their sexual discrimination. So I defended my room.”
Cmdr. John Shale, a Navy psychiatrist, testified at a hearing Wednesday that he considered Dalrymple both psychotic and delusionary, based on an examination by three Navy psychiatrists at a previous hearing. He said Dalrymple holds “a firm, fixed, false belief that we (the Navy) are out to harm her.”
‘Logical and Coherent’
But, when pressed by Dalrymple, who cross-examined him during the hearing, Shale further characterized her as “logical and coherent,” “well-read and bright,” and alert and responsive.
“You have managed to hold onto your sense of humor,” he said at one point during the four-hour hearing. “I thought you were a delightful patient.”
Asked by Dalrymple if she possessed “superior knowledge,” he answered, “There’s no question about it.”
Lt. Mary LaMaster, the government’s prosecutor in the case, said she believes Dalrymple “has the capacity to conduct her own defense.” Navy Capt. Richard L. Reed, the military judge who presided over the hearing, said he reached the same initial conclusion.
Reed reserved final judgment until he questions Dalrymple when the hearing resumes Jan. 8. A date for the court-martial is expected to be set then.
Dalrymple has said she believes she is the victim of sexual discrimination, not only from the Navy but also from officials in UC San Diego Medical Center’s residency program.
Dalrymple, who held an administrative job at the 32nd Street station’s medical clinic, is being held in a Navy brig. At the Jan. 8 hearing, she will ask that she be released from confinement.