APALACHICOLA, Fla. – Attorneys for an elderly German woman accused of drowning her 5-year-old grandson in the bathtub of a Florida beach house say she suffered from depression and was legally insane in part from injuries brought on by a World War II bombing raid.

Marianne Bordt, 73, faces a possible death sentence if convicted of first-degree murder in the January 2010 death of Camden Hiers. Such a possible outcome is believed unlikely given her age, lack of a prior record and other factors. But the case has drawn attention in Germany, a nation without a death penalty.

A hearing in the case is scheduled Friday and one possible outcome is a settlement without trial. Opposing any settlement is Bordt’s former son-in-law and the boy’s father, David Hiers, 53. The computer software engineer, who lives near Atlanta, Ga., said a trial is the only way he will learn what happened to his only child and why.

“Of course, it’s irrational,” Hiers said. “It’s impossible to explain it.”

He recalled the call he received in 2010 from a sheriff’s deputy on St. George Island in the Florida Panhandle informing him of the death. He said he sat on the floor weeping uncontrollably and shouting “No, God, no. Why my little boy?” Camden loved to play with toy cars and trucks he’d arrange in perfect lines and was adept at creating his own play “worlds” from toy buildings, people and animals.

Hiers and Bordt’s daughter, Karin, divorced when their son was a year-and-a-half old. He doesn’t accept the defense’s insanity explanation, saying Bordt never showed signs of mental illness when he knew her. He also said he never distrusted the woman beforehand.

Hiers met his ex-wife while working temporarily in Germany. After their divorce, she had primary custody of their son while he had visitation rights.

Camden died in a beach house on St. George Island near Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle. Heinz and Marianne Bordt, residents of Nufringen, Germany, had taken their grandson for a beach vacation during their annual three-month visit with their daughter. Camden’s grandfather went grocery shopping on Jan. 4, 2010, and told police his wife said she had drowned Camden so he wouldn’t “grow up in a divorced home.”