Cameron Dwayne May heard voices in his head that commanded him to attack someone the day he is accused of kidnapping, raping and beating an employee of an Ocean Springs apartment complex, said his attorney, Melvin Cooper.
May, whom Cooper described as an artist with a mental illness, felt he had to commit a crime in September 2015.
May is on trial this week on charges of kidnapping, sexual battery and two counts of aggravated assault in the September 10, 2015, attack on an employee in the office at Dominion Apartments on Holcomb Boulevard in Ocean Springs.
Ocean Springs police said May first went to the complex and requested a rental application. He returned a little later, police said, and came up behind the 33-year-old single mother as she sat alone.
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May, Cooper said in opening arguments, started drawing “demonic” creatures as early as the sixth grade. As the years progressed, Cooper said, May was worshiping a “demonic” God that ordered him to commit “evil acts.”
May, Cooper said, admits he assaulted the woman once, but denies kidnapping and raping the woman or assaulting her a second time.
Assistant District Attorney Bobby Knochel said May does suffer from a mental illness, but is not criminally insane and knew the difference between right and wrong when he committed the crime.
In early testimony Tuesday, jurors heard audio and video footage from an Ocean Springs police officer's body camera.
The footage showed the victim with a swollen and bloodied face telling a police officer she had been attacked. The victim kept asking to go the hospital.
When her father got to the apartment complex, he asked his daughter if she had been raped.
She said she thought so. “I'm going to kill him,” her father said.
The victim is set to testify next in the trial.