Gardiner man accused of murdering his father awaits psychiatric evaluation

Posted July 12, 2014, at 11:43 a.m.
Last modified July 12, 2014, at 12:29 p.m.
Leroy Herbert Smith III (right) stands in Kennebec County Superior Court where he appeared on a murder charge in this May 2014 file photo.
Jim Evans
Leroy Herbert Smith III (right) stands in Kennebec County Superior Court where he appeared on a murder charge in this May 2014 file photo.

AUGUSTA, Maine — A preliminary psychiatric evaluation determined that Leroy Smith III was not competent at the time to stand trial for the gruesome murder of his father in Gardiner this spring, but Smith’s attorney said Friday that the final report on his competency has not yet been filed. She said she will request a scheduled court appearance on Tuesday be continued.

Smith, 24, remains at the Riverview Psychiatric Center in Augusta, awaiting results of the court-ordered psychiatric evaluation, according to his attorney, Pam Ames.

Smith was charged on May 6 with killing and dismembering his father, 56-year-old Leroy Smith II, in their Cannard Street apartment and leaving his remains in the woods in nearby Richmond. He was subsequently indicted on a charge of intentional or knowing or depraved indifference murder.

According to court documents, Smith told police he killed his father “because his dad sexually assaulted him his whole life.”

At a May 8 initial appearance in Kennebec County Superior Court, Smith claimed to be a political prisoner, and in a subsequent interview with WGME, he claimed he was God.

Justice Donald Marden ordered Smith to undergo a psychiatric exam

According to Ames, the state forensic unit evaluated Smith four days later and wrote to the court on May 15 that he was not competent at that time and required treatment to see if he could become competent before a trial.

Ames said Friday that she has requested a continuance of Smith’s scheduled court appearance next week, and that the state does not object.

“Until we know whether he’s competent or not competent, there’s no reason to bring him over to court,” Ames said. “It’s a waste of everyone’s time until there’s an expert medical finding saying he’s either competent and can communicate effectively with his attorney and understand the court proceedings, or he isn’t.”

Assistant Attorney General Deborah Cashman, who is prosecuting the case, was not available for comment on Friday.

 

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