Tyler Hadley sentencing hearing:Day 6

Tyler Hadley's sentencing hearing continues at 9:30 a.m. Monday with more testimony expected from mental health experts.


Friday's recap

St. Lucie County, Fl (WFLX)-- A nationally recognized expert on mental health took the stand Friday in the Tyler Hadley sentencing hearing.

Dr. Wade Myers, a professor of psychiatry at Brown University, testified that he was asked to do a psychiatric evaluation of Hadley by the public defender's office.

Myers said that Hadley was put on Prozac at age 10 and then Lexapro after showing signs of serious childhood depression.

The doctor said Hadley was "quite severely mentally ill" at the time his parents were killed and that he had thyroid and growth hormone issues.

Hadley has pleaded no contest to beating his parents to death with a hammer when he was 17 in 2011.

Hadley used alcohol and pot around the age of 15 and also tried cocaine, Ecstasy and cough syrup, said Myers.

Myers told the court that both of Tyler Hadley's parents were taking medicine for mental health issues. His dad was being treated for anxiety, his mom for depression.

Before Hadley changed his plea last month, the defense had planned to use an insanity defense.

Myers told the court that many professionals had found Tyler Hadley had significant mental illness over years beginning around age 10.

He argued that Tyler's premature birth and small head circumference are risks for a whole host of problems later in life and that when he first met Hadley, he had major depression with what is called "psychotic features."

He added "Severe mental illness" is why a young man with good parents went and killed them. "At least in the month or so before he was arrested, he had developed delusional thought that had become very obsessional and very much a rumination that he needed to kill his parents and he needed to die."

Dr. Myers also said Tyler Hadley's use of alcohol and drugs was "him taking whatever he could get to get out of the state of mind he was in when he was not high."

The defense over the past three days has been trying to show why Hadley beat his parents to death with a hammer.

The hearing is in recess until Monday.

Copyright 2014 WFLX. All Rights Reserved.