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Monday, May 22, 2000



By Ronen Zilberman, Associated Press
Dr. Denis Mee-Lee testifies in court today. He
diagnosed Byran Uyesugi with a delusional
disorder and paranoid personality in 1993.

Uyesugi delusional,
but no danger

A Xerox official asked for
the evaluation in 1993, saying
Uyesugi's 'potential risk
for violence is high'

By Debra Barayuga


Byran Uyesugi suffered from delusions and paranoia where he believed people were out to get him, according to a psychiatrist who examined him in 1993. But Dr. Denis Mee-Lee, who diagnosed Uyesugi with a delusional disorder and paranoid personality, did not believe Uyesugi was dangerous and thought he could be released after five days for further outpatient treatment.

Logo During testimony today in the second week of the murder trial for Uyesugi, charged with gunning down seven co-workers at the Xerox warehouse last November, Mee-Lee said Uyesugi related to him "in a very reasonable and believable manner" his version of events that had been going on for four or five years.

Xerox had requested that Mee-Lee evaluate Uyesugi because he had kicked in an elevator door at a customer's site.

Xerox officials were concerned about his mental state and other work problems, such as how he related to his supervisor and co-workers, safety issues following a series of incidents involving his temper and threats he allegedly made against co-workers.

Under questioning from defense attorney Rodney Ching, Mee-Lee said Uyesugi's hospitalization followed a memo by a Xerox official saying Uyesugi needed to get "immediate medical attention" and his "potential risk for violence is high."

Uyesugi told Mee-Lee that one particular co-worker had a "vendetta" against him and that actions taken by his employers were an attempt to discredit him at work and result in his getting fired, Mee-Lee said.

By Ronen Zilberman, Associated Press
Uyesugi in court today.

Uyesugi believed that because of these incidents, he would need to look for another job.

Uyesugi described an unidentified employee who would make "derogatory, demeaning" comments to him about his ability to do his job well.

Uyesugi reported the employee to his supervisor who intervened on several occasions, but the harassment continued.

Uyesugi also talked about a corporate attorney at the Xerox mainland headquarters who had instructed someone in the local parts department to provide him with defective parts.

He believed someone was messing with his hobbies at home -- his fish and his gun collection.

"I believe he thought all those incidents centered on concerns in the workplace," Mee-Lee said.

When asked about threats he allegedly made against coworkers, Uyesugi denied it, Mee-Lee said.

Uyesugi talked about suing those persecuting him but did not mention taking any physical action.

In deciding to release Uyesugi for further outpatient treatment, Mee-Lee said he considered Uyesugi's work performance, stable home life and interests.

Uyesugi was willing to be admitted to Castle for inpatient treatment, and his supervisor at the time even drove him to Castle, Mee-Lee said.

Uyesugi was considered "safe and trustable enough" to be admitted to a unit separate from the locked, intensive inpatient psychiatric unit.

"We believed he didn't present a threat or danger to anyone" when admitted to the open unit, Mee-Lee said.

A social worker who was part of the team that evaluated him during the five days also concluded that he was able to talk through his delusions before acting.

Uyesugi's attorneys contend that he suffered from a mental defect that affected his ability to know right from wrong and he therefore shouldn't be held responsible.

Mee-Lee said at the time of his evaluation of Uyesugi in 1993, Uyesugi was in fairly good control of his actions. Mee-Lee said he concluded that Uyesugi was not suffering from physical disorder or abuse of drugs or alcohol.

Uyesugi resisted suggestions for his mental illness, Mee-Lee said. Anti-psychotic medications may not have been effective in treating his illness in the short run, Mee-Lee said, noting that delusional disorder is hard to treat.

"It's difficult to treat someone who does not believe he has a problem," Mee-Lee said, which is typical of delusional disorder.

Suzanne Tswei contributed to this report.

Xerox killings

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