By Shayna Jacobs
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — Potential jurors in the trial of a mentally ill man who admitted to killing an Upper East Side psychiatrist were asked whether they ever received shock treatment or heard orders issued "by the voice of God."
David Tarloff, 42, a longtime psychiatric patient, was charged with the 2008 stabbing murder of Kathryn Faughey, who shared an office with a psychiatrist who had previously treated Tarloff. He admitted to the crime, saying he was carrying out God's wishes.
"Does anybody here right now believe you truly are the Messiah?" Tarloff's lawyer, Bryan Konoski, asked potential jurors Thursday. He also asked whether any of them had received "electroconvulsive shock treatments" or if they ever heard voices from God.
Konoski plans to argue that Tarloff, who has more than 10,000 pages of psychiatric records documenting his mental illnesses, is too unstable to be held criminally accountable for the death of Faughey.
Tarloff reportedly told police he was at the psychiatrists' office to rob Kent Shinbach, his former shrink, who survived the attack.
Jury selection began Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court. Tarloff faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder.