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War vet who blamed killing girlfriend on PTSD is convicted of murder

August 09, 2013|By Matt Hamilton

An Iraq war veteran who claimed he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he fatally stabbed his girlfriend was convicted Friday of murder.

Jurors found Tymarc Warren, 28, guilty of first-degree murder for the Jan. 8, 2011, slaying of Eileen Garnreiter, 22. At the time of the killing, the couple had been fighting because Garnreiter had threatened to end their relationship and take their 5-week-old daughter.

Warren, who testified in his own defense, said Garnreiter shoved him while he was holding their daughter in the kitchen of their Lawndale apartment.

He told jurors at the Torrance courthouse that he put Garnreiter in a chokehold “to calm her down.” 

She reached for a nearby kitchen knife and tried to stab him, Warren said. A brief struggle ensued, ending when Warren stabbed Garnreiter three times in the neck.

A coroner's representative testified that Garnreiter was choked and had 16 stab wounds in total, prosecutors said.

Defense attorney Louisa Pensanti requested that jurors convict Warren of manslaughter, arguing that Garnreiter provoked her client and that he was acting in self-defense. Warren’s violent response was the result of post-traumatic stress disorder from his two tours of duty in Iraq with the Army, Pensanti said.

In his closing arguments Wednesday, Dep. Dist. Atty. Frank Dunnick said it was Garnreiter who was acting in self-defense while Warren was choking her.

Dunnick dismissed Warren’s claims of post-traumatic stress disorder, citing two post-deployment mental health evaluations and the opinion of a psychiatrist hired by the prosecution. 

The defense’s strategy of invoking military service, said Dunnick, is “offensive."

“PTSD is very real, it's just not in this case," Dunnick said.

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