ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Wednesday was an intense day in the John Jonchuck trial as the defense got to cross examine the state's expert witness.
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Dr. Emily Lazarou was back on the stand, one day after she said she believes Jonchuck was "malingering," or faking symptoms in an effort to be insane.
The defense had tried to keep her testimony out of the trial without any luck. On Wednesday, they tried to discredit her.
Jonchuck is charged with dropping his 5-year-old daughter off the approach of the Skyway Bridge in January 2015.
The jury was shown video of Lazarou interviewing Jonchuck at the state hospital in 2017.
The defense pointed out moments where it seems as though Lazarou wasn’t letting Jonchuck finish, likely to counter testimony from her Tuesday that he was uncooperative.
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The exchanges between Defense Attorney Jessica Manuele and Lazarou often seemed tense.
Manuele: "And that's not true, you are not trained to detect lying, correct?"
Lazarou: "I'm trained to detect malingering, yes."
Manuele: "You are trained to detect malingering, right?"
Lazarou: "Which for an average person, they would know as lying, so I'm talking to an average person that has an eighth-grade education, so that's the word that I used."
Lazarou showed even more emotion fighting back tears when questioned about a lawsuit.
Manuele said Lazarou is seeking damages for loss of work because she couldn’t get certified by a certain medical board, to which Lazarou finally responded she's only a plaintiff because they wouldn't accommodate her needs as a breast feeding mother.
It was a surprise moment for everyone in the courtroom, and the judge responded with a recess for about 15 minutes.
The defense finished its questioning of Lazarou Thursday afternoon. Testimony resumes Friday.
Stay with Spectrum News for updates from court. You can also follow Cait McVey on Twitter.
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