Laguerre Payen, one of the “Newburgh Four,” accused of trying to blow up a synagogue in the Bronx last year, has certainly tried novel defense strategies before. When no one believed that Payen, who was recorded speaking eloquently about the terrorist scheme on wiretaps, was suffering from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and couldn’t understand what was happening in the courtroom, he dropped trou as a show of good faith. This time, Payen’s latest get-out-of-jail card looks to big-budget Hollywood. Psychologist Elissa Miller testified before a federal judge yesterday that Payen asked, “This is ‘The Matrix,’ isn’t it?” Judge Colleen McMahon, who may or may not still be plugged in, told Payen that “it is very much in your interest to stop this act.”
“It’s not a time to get complacent,” he says. “We have to remain disciplined going forward.”
But he says yesterday 779 died people and that is the highest number yet.