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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Sanity ruling expected in disabled boy's beheading

Sanity ruling expected in disabled boy's beheading

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) — A Lafourche Parish judge planned Wednesday to rule on whether a man accused of beheading his disabled son is able to help his attorneys and therefore fit to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder.

District Judge John LeBlanc has said he will rule on whether to try Jeremiah Wright for the death of 7-year-old Jori Lirette or send Wright back to a mental hospital for further treatment.

As a six-day hearing ended Feb. 4, LeBlanc said there's no argument about whether Wright can understand the charges against him and the nature of the proceedings against him, so the only question is whether he can help his attorneys.

Wright's attorneys have not entered a plea to the charge of first-degree murder.

LeBlanc won't be considering whether Wright was sane on Aug. 14, 2011, when the boy was killed and dismembered and his head left in the yard of the house where Wright lived with the boy's mother.

At least a dozen investigators and experts testified that Wright has told them the boy was a robot or CPR dummy put into his home as a government social experiment to teach him about life.

Experts disagreed about whether such a delusion would hinder his ability to assist his legal counsel.

District Attorney Cam Morvant said it was the first competency hearing he's participated in in 30 years as a Lafourche Parish prosecutor.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.