More veterans are using PTSD as defense in criminal cases

RALEIGH, N.C. — He killed her, Joshua Stepp admitted. He slammed the face of his 10-month-old stepdaughter into a carpeted floor, roughed her up as he changed her diaper, stuffed wet toilet paper down her throat, and soon she was dead.

But Stepp, a 28-year-old former Army infantryman who saw combat in Iraq, insists that he is not guilty of first-degree murder. His post-traumatic stress disorder left him incapable of premeditating the killing of tiny Cheyenne Yarley in November 2009, he and his lawyers say.

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