ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The mother of the teenager accused of pretending to be a sheriff’s deputy wants to testify about his mental health at trial but the state says that will only confuse the jury.
In new motions filed this month, the district attorney’s office says testimony about 18-year-old Brenden Wysynski‘s mental health is irrelevant to determining whether he pulled over a speeder and impersonated an officer.
Albuquerque Police lapel video from last September, that quickly went viral, shows Wysynski insisting he was enforcing the law near Fourth and I-40 as an off-duty deputy until an Albuquerque Police Department officer stopped by the unusual scene and called him out.
“For starters, I know this looks really bad,” Wysynski is heard saying in the police lapel video. “This screams, ‘whacker.'”
“You can’t be pretending to be a cop,” the officer said.
“Yeah, it was stupid,” Wysynski responded.
Ahead of his trial for impersonating a peace officer, set for March, the state is questioning two witnesses the defense is calling to testify. According to the state’s motion, Wysynski’s mother would testify about his emotional history and upbringing.
Additionally, a psychologist would explain Wysynski’s “psychological condition” that’s listed as a mental disorder.
The state is claiming any testimony from these witnesses would be irrelevant, and that they are supposed to testify whether Wysynski committed the crime and not explain why it happened. Wysynski’s attorney questions the district attorney’s new motions in the following statement:
“The DA is arguing that this witness isn’t relevant. How could someone’s mental health not be relevant? Knowing about Brenden’s mental health issues, which include autism, provides crucial context to what happened that day. The District Attorney’s Office here is really missing an opportunity to help this kid.”
However, the DA’s office tells KRQE News 13 this is not a psychological issue and that the defense has not raised competency. The motion further claims testimony from Wysynski’s mother will not help the jury understand the evidence of the case, “Will confuse the issue, waste time, and mislead the jury regarding what is necessary for the state to prove and what the defense can offer to disprove those elements.”
The motion hearing for the misdemeanor charge is set for February 26 and the trial starts March 17.