Back at the start of November I put up an entry about a local man who shot his friend and roommate because the roommate didn’t believe in God. Now the Detroit Free Press has a follow up article on how the shooter’s lawyer has requested a competency hearing for his client:
The attorney for a man accused of murdering a friend and house mate because the victim refused to say he believed in God says his client is “delusional and preoccupied with God.”
Arthur Shelton, 49, of Taylor is unable to assist in defending himself against the charges of first-degree premeditated murder and felony murder with firearms, according to a motion in Shelton’s file in Taylor’s 23rd District Court.
The motion by Shelton’s attorney, Leslie Braverman, asks for a hearing to determine whether Shelton is mentally competent to be tried.
The competency hearing is scheduled for Dec. 27.
Shelton “believes the victim …was the anti-Christ,” Braverman wrote in the motion.
I got the original link from Brent over at Unscrewing The Inscrutable and in his entry he asked the rhetorical question of if anyone doubted that religion makes you crazy. In this case at least it would seem the answer is a resounding yes:
According to Braverman in the competency motion, Shelton “has been unable to communicate with counsel to provide any factual basis, support, description and/or assistance to counsel as to the events related to the charge, incident, including causation and relating to questions by police or statements by the defendant.”
Braverman also wrote: “A defendant is incompetent to stand trial if he is incapable of understanding the proceedings against him or assisting in his defense in a rational manner.”
Considering the irrationality inherent in his belief system to begin with it’s hard to imagine how Shelton could provide much in the way of rational or factual help even if he wasn’t obviously apeshit crazy. Not that there’s isn’t plenty in the Bible that could be used in an attempt to justify Shelton’s actions if you buy into the idea that the Bible is inerrant, but most modern courts have a hard time accepting such justifications as valid.