A man accused of killing a teacher he says sexually abused him told police he “had to do something” to keep the teacher from turning other students into victims.
Darrell Cloud, 25, has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity to first-degree murder in the Jan. 31, 1994, slaying of Neal Summers.
Summers, 45, Cloud’s former teacher, was shot to death as he entered Whitman Middle School in Seattle.
In a tape-recorded interview played Monday in King County Superior Court, Cloud told police he was aiming for Summers’ heart.
“I felt it was a clean shot and hoped it was,” he said.
The tape was played as Judge George Mattson heard pretrial motions to determine what evidence will be heard by a jury. Jury selection is scheduled to being Wednesday and could take the rest of the week.
Prosecutors called two Seattle police detectives to the stand Monday and played the tape to illustrate that Cloud had motivation to kill and knew right from wrong when he allegedly shot Summers.
But defense attorney John Henry Browne said the tape showed Cloud was “psychotic, delusional.”
The “long-term, brutal sexual abuse” contributed to Cloud’s “state of mind at the time” of the shooting, Browne said.
To acquit Cloud on grounds of insanity, a jury would have to find that he suffered from a mental disease or defect and was either unable to tell right from wrong or was incapable of understanding his actions at the time of the killing.
In the interview the day after the killing, Cloud said Summers first propositioned him when he was 13.
That led to “a long 10 years” in which he grew tired of Summers asking him to help find other boys willing to have sex with the teacher, Cloud said. He said he repeatedly told Summers he would not help attract other youths.
“I don’t feel like a victim, but I do feel victimized at the same time,” Cloud told investigators.
“I couldn’t, I couldn’t be a part of it anymore. … I don’t feel I’m right. I don’t feel I’m wrong. …
“You can call it low-down, you can call it rotten, you can call it evil, you can call it instinct. I don’t know. I had, I had to do something.”