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Mental evaluation ordered for accused Palm Springs shooter

A 19-year-old man who allegedly claimed voices commanded him to gun down his mother at their Palm Springs home will be examined by a court-appointed psychologist, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Brian Patrick Conroy is charged with killing 36-year-old Amber Lane, who was shot just before 4:30 a.m. Nov. 20 in the 4100 block of Calle San Antonio. She died at Desert Regional Medical Center about two hours later.

On a request from defense attorney Laura Garcia, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Harold W. Hopp appointed a psychologist to examine Conroy. A doctor’s report will be submitted to the court on or prior to his next scheduled court hearing on Jan. 18.

Deputy District Attorney Scot Clark said last month that the defendant claims “voices commanded” him to commit the killing and that “he’s not able to control his impulses,” leading him to request that Conroy’s bail be increased out of concern for public safety. Palm Springs police have not
commented on a motive for the killing.

Prosecutors sought $5 million bail, though Clark conceded there may be reasons not to believe Conroy’s claims regarding the “voices.” An increase to $2 million was approved at a subsequent bail hearing.

Conroy, a former Palm Springs High School student, has no prior criminal record in Riverside County.

Lane was the director of marketing and public relations at the Wang’s in the Desert restaurant in Palm Springs, where her husband David is the general manager.

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