Texas man who shot and killed his wife says he was sleepwalking

Raymond Lazarine admits to shooting his wife six times in 2013. His lawyers claim he wasn't awake at the time.

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By Ben Kesslen

A Houston man who admits to killing his wife is contending in his murder trial that started this week that he isn’t fully responsible for her death because he was sleepwalking at the time.

Raymond Lazarine, 67, was charged with murder in the death of his wife, Deborah, in December 2013.

Raymond Lazarene told police he thought he was dreaming when he shot his wife, Deborah.Click2Houston

On that December day, Lazarine called his son just before noon and told him he had shot his wife, Houston police said. Deborah Lazarine had been shot six times, including in the head and back.

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Raymond Lazarine was taken into police custody, and a weapon was recovered at the scene, but he later told police he thought he was dreaming when he shot his wife of 35 years, NBC Houston affiliate KPRC reports.

Now, his lawyers are presenting a sleepwalker defense in court, telling the jury that Lazarine did not purposefully kill his wife and a medical condition is to blame.

"Our position over here is this was a dream and it wasn't voluntary. And he does, we've had him evaluated, and obviously the experts are going to come by and say, hey, we think he suffers from a medical condition where it's involuntary," Lazarine’s defense attorney Feroz F. Merchant said at the jury trial, according to KPRC.

Retired Houston homicide detective Fil Waters, who was one of the investigators at the scene of the crime, said, "He mentioned something there that was more of an off-the-wall comment about, 'This is like a dream I wish I could wake up from,'" KPRC reported.

Lazarine’s son testified that his father had been under a psychiatrist’s care for over a decade, taking prescription drugs that he sometimes mixed with alcohol. Lazarine told police he had taken his medication the day of the shooting.