Jeremiah Wright: Father found not guilty over beheading of son who he believed was a CPR dummy
Experts on mental illness said Wright believed his son was no longer real and been replaced with a CPR dummy
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saturday 15 February 2014
A father who beheaded his disabled son has been found not guilty by reason of insanity by a US court, after experts concluded he believed his son was actually a CPR dummy.
In a rare ruling on Friday, State District Judge John LeBlanc said Jeremiah Wright of Louisiana will not face trial for capital murder after expert testimony found he was psychotic and delusional at the time he committed the act.
Experts on mental illness said Wright believed his son was no longer real, and had instead been replaced with a CPR dummy.
Wright has been in custody since August 2011, when his seven-year-old son Jori Lirette was killed at the home he shared with the boy's mother.
The boy's head was found in the driveway of the home and his other body parts were found in nearby trash bags.
Jori's disability required him to need around-the-clock care, including being fed through a tube.
Wright has believed from the start that he had dismantled a CPR dummy that had taken his son’s place, his lawyer Kerry Cuccia said.
“That’s what he told the police in his initial statement and what he has told almost every doctor along the way.”
Both Dr. Sarah Deland, an assistant professor of psychiatry and forensic neuropsychiatry at Tulane University, and Dr. George Seiden, a forensic psychiatrist from Shreveport, brought in by prosecutors, testified that even when taking psychiatric medicines, Wright never stopped believing that a robot or CPR dummy had replaced his son, Cuccia said.
Wright has now been committed to the the East Louisiana Mental Health System in Jackson, where he has been held since Joris was killed.
Prosecutor Camille 'Cam' Morvant said: "It was the only ruling, really, that the court could make.
"There was indisputable testimony from experts that Mr Wright was psychotic and delusional and suffered from a major mental disorder at the time of the crime."
Additional reporting by Associated Press
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
- 3 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
Katie Hopkins reveals fear she will die during brain surgery to cure epilepsy
Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
Kim Jong-un is awarded global statesmanship prize by Indonesia
Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
Calais crisis: Migrants that have made it to the UK reveal how Britain has matched their expectations
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
Calais crisis: For desperate migrants it is 'England or death' as they brave dogs, riot police and speeding trains
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...