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Man accused of beheading boy to receive psychiatric evaluation

A 30-year-old man accused of dismembering and beheading his disabled son is set to receive evaluation as to whether he is sane enough to help in his defense on charges of first degree murder.

The man was arrested on August 14, and reportedly told police that his 27-year-old girlfriend had planned on moving the child to his mother's house. He also stated that he had grown tired of caring for the boy, who needed round the clock care due to medical problems including cerebral palsy, heart complications and limited speech.

In a police affidavit, the man is reported to have told police he left the child's head by the side of the road so his girlfriend would see it when she returned home and "feel stupid." According to court records, his girlfriend obtained a restraining order against him less than one week prior to the boy's premature birth, and another one when the boy was less than six months old.

Lafourche Parish District Attorney Camille Morvant II said he plans to try the case, but the man's defense attorney has requested a psychiatric evaluation. According to Kerry Cuccia, the man's defense attorney, the man's arraignment has been postponed until October 17, at which time the judge will hear testimony from the psychiatrists conducting the evaluation.

Cuccia didn't indicate the reason for requesting the psychiatric evaluation, or why the judge appointed them, but sources did mention that three sealed exhibits were submitted. The exhibits reportedly speak to the issue of whether his client has the ability to help with his defense, not whether he was sane when his 7-year-old was killed on August 14.

If convicted of first degree murder, the man faces up to life in prison or execution.

Sources:

Forbes, "Sanity probe scheduled for beheaded La. boy's dad," August 29, 2011.

Shreveport Times, Grand jury indicts man in son's beheading," August 26, 2011.

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