Publix Shooting Trial: Suspect Arunya Rouch will not testify, but her husband will

3:05 PM, Jun 19, 2012   |    comments
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Arunya Rouch sits in court during jury selection of her murder trial.


Clearwater, Florida - It was a big day in court in the Publix shooting trial where an employee who was fired is accused of murdering her co-worker, a man who she thought was responsible for her termination.

The jury in the case could be described an intense as members watched a graphic compilation of surveillance video clips, showing Arunya Rouch on the day of the shooting.

She is seen walking around the Tarpon Springs store, police say, with a gun in her hand looking for people to shoot.  Just moments before, detectives say she shot her colleague point blank as he sat in his car in the parking lot.

Photo Gallery: Pictures from the Publix shooting scene

The jurors crowded around one another to watch the video up close.

The state rested shortly after the video was shown, and then defense attorney George Tragos called its star witness, psychiatrist Dr. Karl Jones.

Jones was testifying on behalf of the defense team about Rouch's state of mind the day she allegedly shot Greg Janowski, a father of four.

Jones was asked one of the most important questions of the entire case: "Did Arunya Rouch know when she shot Greg Janowski and shot at the police officers and pointed her gun at other individuals at Publix," Tragos asked.  "Did she know right from wrong?"

"I thought she was so cognitively impaired, she did not know right from wrong," said Dr. Jones. He added, "She was basically out to commit suicide by cop."

Rouch was said to be "fragile" during her time at Publix, where she worked at the sushi counter.  She was endlessly teased, her attorneys say, by Janowski.

Rouch's attorneys further maintain that the constant "mental abuse" called the 44-year-old native of Thailand to lose control of her mental health.

Managers have also testified that Rouch verbally threatened to murder Janowski. 

When Rouch was fired on March 30, 2010, she snapped, her attorneys say.  She came to her breaking point.

Dr. Jones also noted that he studied the Thai culture in this case and said that Rouch was very influenced by "saving face."   Her attorneys told jurors that being fired was similar to death in her culture, that it was a tremendous disgrace to that person and his/her family.

It was also brought out in testimony that Rouch, Dr. Jones told jurors, has mental illnesses.  They included dissociative disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, Dr. Jones noted that during the shooting, she was acting like a "robot."

However, the state attacked the doctor's credibility, saying that Dr. Jones had never testified on an insanity case before.

It was also brought out that Rouch had problems at previous jobs.

Rouch told the judge that she would not testify in her own defense.  However, her husband Tom, also a Publix employee, is likely to take the stand.

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