COLUMBIA — William Clinch suffered from an adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression, his former therapist testified Friday morning in his murder trial.
Clinch met 11 times with his therapist, Mary Williamson, the last visit occurring about a month before the fatal shooting of Jeremy Bohannon in September 2007. Williamson testified that on that last visit Clinch seemed to be doing better. He told her he'd gained back some of the weight he had lost and was sleeping more.
The defense’s focus Friday on Clinch’s mental health was a change of tack from its approach in previous days, in which the defense had sought to convince the jury that Clinch killed his former brother-in-law in self-defense. Clinch has testified that he feared Bohannon would kill him, his sister, Amanda Clinch, and her three young children.
Clinch, 39, of Hallsville, is on trial for first-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the death of Bohannon, 32. He is accused of fatally shooting Bohannon, his former brother-in-law, in September 2007 in the parking lot of McDonald’s on Clark Lane.
Williamson testified Friday that Clinch told her he credited his sister’s children with saving his life. He had been in a “great depression” before the children were born, even attempting suicide. But things changed for him when they were around.
“He cared very deeply for these children,” Williamson said. Clinch felt like he owed them a lot, she said.
The defense was expected to continue calling witnesses Friday afternoon.