NY Lawyer Blames Mother for Committing Murder

Jason Bohn's defense claims he suffers post-traumatic mental illness due to his mother abandoning him.
3:00 | 02/20/14

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Transcript for NY Lawyer Blames Mother for Committing Murder
We're going to turn to the murder trial now of a New York lawyer who's blaming his mother for his brutal killing of his girlfriend. The jury in this case will hear from a consultant, in fact, from the TV series "Law and order" to help back up his claim. ABC's Mara schiavocampo tracking this case for us. Mara, good morning. Josh, good morning. It's an unusual defense to say the least. Jason Bohn's lawyers claim he suffers from a post straw mental mental illness because his mom, a successful publishing executive abandoned him for her career. He's an accused murderer blaming his mommy. 35-year-old New York lawyer Jason Bohn has admitted to brutally beating and strangling his girlfriend, a 27-year-old weight watchers executive. Now in his trial on first degree murder charges, Bohn's attorneys say it's his mother's fault. Experts testifying he was traumatized when his mom, successful publishing executive Maureen o'donnell devoted hersome to her career when he was just 10. They agree Maureen abandoned her children because she wanted to pursue her career in publishing. Reporter: Prosecutors say the murder was cruel and intentional. In June 2012 Danielle Thomas was found in the apartment she shared with Bohn, her body in a tub filled with ice. Officials say this surveillance video taken on the day of her murder shows the ivy league educated attorney buying ice. Investigators know days later Bohn left this voice mail message for an ex-girlfriend. Danielle is dead. I don't remember anything that happened, okay. I think I pushed her. Reporter: In court prosecutors also played another message. This one left when one of the couple's cell phones accide accidentally dialed a friend as Thomas was being attacked on the night of her death. A recording so troubling her family had to leave the courtroom. She's repeatedly saying I can't breathe. Reporter: But in an unusual legal turn, the defense says Bohn's mommy issues can create an uncontrollable rage. Forensic psychiatrist Alexander Sasha barty is a key expert for the defense. He is also a consultant for the crime drama "Law & order svu." He claims he suffers from intermittent explosive disorder having violent bursts of anger when reminded of his childhood. Bohn's mother has not been in court but is reportedly using her $1.3 million salary to fund his defense, all to keep her son from paying a hefty price. Now, though Bohn had pleaded not guilty, the defense is now seeking a conviction on lesser manslaughter charges. In a statement Bohn's mother says she is horrified by this tragedy and her heart goes out to miss Thomas' family. Thank you for that. We turn to Dan Abrams here for more, much to parse here. Let 'begin with the big headline. Seriously? Yeah, I mean H. Is one of these defenses where you shake your head and you say, this makes the legal system look terrible. I mean, this is a desperate defense, right? This is a defense where you have him on audio, they have audio of him committing the crime. They've got confessions and you're not even have an insanity defense. This is not him saying I'm not guilty by reason of insanity. It's him asking for a lesser conviction because he didn't have the requisite intent meaning he was -- he is so lost his mind, in effect, that he couldn't develop the intent required. There is no way that this defense is going to succeed. I'm not in any way comparing the two cases but there are echoes of a case recently in Texas, the after influenza case where the teenager who was driving drunk killed people but was not sent to prison in part because he was so rich he couldn't know his actions. That's right. Look, every time I talk about that case, that's the case that people mejs. Huge differences between the cases. That was a juvenile case in juvenile court. That wasn't even really determined based on that after influenza. That was one witness, one reason that the judge didn't give a juvenile age 16 jail time. This is totally different. You're talking about an adult and this is his defense. I mean, this is the heart and soul of the defense. If the jury does not buy this, he is absolutely convicted of murder. Certainly one to watch.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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