March 20, 2018
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New competency hearing set for Maine man accused of dismembering father

BDN file | BDN
BDN file | BDN
Leroy Smith III is escorted back to his seat during a competency hearing before Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Donald Marden on June 30 at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta.
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By Beth Brogan, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — A Gardiner man accused of killing and dismembering his father in their Gardiner apartment in 2014 is scheduled to appear in court next month to see if forced medication has made him competent to stand trial for murder.

Leroy Smith III, now 27, was arrested on May 6, 2014, and charged with intentional or knowing murder or depraved indifference murder after police said he killed and dismembered his father, 56-year-old Leroy Smith II, and then placed the remains in a wooded area along a dirt road in Richmond. He has been in state custody since that day.

In January 2015, after a state forensic expert testified that Leroy Smith III likely suffers from schizophrenia, paranoid schizophrenia or delusional disorder and believes the primary role of his attorneys is to put him in touch with heavy metal rock bands so he could tell them he is God, Justice Donald Marden ruled Smith was not competent to stand trial and ordered him committed to Riverview Psychiatric Center.

A year later, under a state law enacted in July, Marden ruled in favor of a motion by the prosecution to involuntarily medicate Smith for six months to see if that would affect his competency.

Dr. Peter Donnelly, a self-employed psychologist who contracts with the state forensic service, and Dr. Ann LeBlanc, director of the state forensic service, agreed that Smith understood the charges against him and the potential consequences, is “very bright” and able to and eager to learn and understand “more conceptual things” such as plea bargains.

However, Donnelly said Smith’s primary delusion, that he was destined to be educated by well-known guitar players, to become a rock star, and that he was “the god of the kingdom of heaven, Icarus,” persisted.

In June, Marden returned Smith to Riverview, where he has remained for much of the past two and a half years. Marden ordered that Smith receive continued treatment with antipsychotic medications to see if he could become competent to stand trial for murder.

Marden then ruled that Smith was competent to be arraigned, but although Smith told Marden he wanted to plead not guilty, Marden said he would instead enter a plea of not criminally responsible.

Assistant Attorney General Don Macomber, who is prosecuting the case, did not object to the plea.

“Based on all reports and evidence we’ve reviewed, we would not be opposed to a finding of not criminally responsible,” Macomber said in June. “If he persists in a not guilty plea and we go to trial and he’s ultimately convicted, the state will certainly not be recommending a sentence as short as 30 years — which I’ve read is what he thinks he may get.”

Neither Macomber nor Smith’s attorney, Pamela Ames, responded to phone calls on Tuesday.

Smith is scheduled for a competency hearing at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta on Jan. 30, 2017.


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