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Murder-accused professor is insane, claims her lawyer

The lawyer for a US college professor accused of killing three colleagues during a faculty meeting said he believed the teacher is insane, and that she said she can't remember the shootings.

Amy Bishop (45), who has a doctorate from Harvard University and has taught at the University of Alabama in Huntsville since 2003, has severe mental problems that appear to be paranoid schizophrenia, said Roy W Miller, her court-appointed attorney.

Miller spoke in an interview on the same day that hundreds of mourners attended the first funeral and memorial services for Bishop's slain co-workers.

Bishop's failure to obtain tenure at the University of Alabama in Huntsville was likely a key to the shootings last Friday, Miller said.

Miller said Harvard-educated Bishop apparently was incensed that a lesser-known school rejected her for what amounted to a lifetime job.

"Obviously she was very distraught and concerned over that tenure," Miller said. "It insulted her and slapped her in the face, and it's probably tied in with the Harvard mentality. She brooded and brooded and brooded over it, and then, 'bingo'."

Authorities said three more people were hurt when Bishop pulled out a handgun and started shooting during a routine meeting with colleagues.

Charged with capital murder and attempted murder, she is being held without bond.