Judge to Decide if Murder Suspect Can Be Forcibly Medicated | NECN
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Judge to Decide if Murder Suspect Can Be Forcibly Medicated

Leroy Smith III, of Gardiner, is charged in the 2014 killing of Leroy Smith Jr. inside an apartment they shared

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    Judge to Decide if Murder Suspect Can Be Forcibly Medicated
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    Leroy Smith

    In what is considered the first case of its kind in Maine, a judge is deciding if a mentally ill murder suspect can be forced to take anti-psychotic medication against his will, in an effort to make him competent to stand trial.

    Leroy Smith III is charged with killing and dismembering his father in the Gardiner apartment they shared in May of 2014.

    Psychologists have determined that Smith suffers from a delusional disorder, and possibly schizophrenic. His delusions include believing that he is god, and a political prisoner.

    Smith was found to be incompetent to stand trial last January, and has yet to enter a plea.

    While at Riverview Psychiatric Center, Smith has refused to take anti-psychotic medication.

    "It is concerning that Mr. Smith has been in our unit for so long and has not been treated for his mental illness," said nurse practitioner Miriam Davidson.

    At a hearing on Tuesday, doctors testified that taking the anti-psychotic medication could help Smith become competent to stand trial.

    According to psychologist Peter Donnelly, it is possible that a defendant could still experience delusions, while being competent.

    Smith's attorney, Scott Hess, argued that his client has the right to refuse medication, and there is no guarantee that the drugs will help him.

    "This will essentially just be an experiment," said Hess. "He will essentially be a guinea pig."

    It is not unusual to have the court force a defendant to take medication if he is a danger to himself or others, it is believed to be the first time in Maine that a judge is deciding to forcibly medicate a defendant to achieve competency.

    Judge Donald Marden is expected to have a written decision within two weeks.

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