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La. judge rules man too mentally ill to stand trial for deaths of police officer, another man

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FRANKLIN, Louisiana — A state district judge has ruled that a man claiming to be the "son of God" is too mentally ill to stand trial for the violent deaths of a police officer and another man in 2013.

The Advocate reports (http://bit.ly/11BUYOC ) Judge Keith Comeaux ordered Wilbert Thibodeaux to undergo psychiatric treatment at a state hospital.

Comeaux made the ruling Thursday after hearing two psychiatrists testify that Thibodeaux suffers from schizophrenia.

Authorities say that Thibodeaux killed Charenton resident 78-year-old Eddie Lyons and set fire to Lyons' mobile home. They say Thibodeaux then shot responding Chitimacha Tribal Police Sgt. Rick Riggenbach, who died at the scene, and wounded two St. Mary Parish sheriff's deputies, who have since recovered.

Comeaux's decision was not welcome news to Riggenbach's family.

"I don't feel justice has been served," Riggenbach's wife, Bonnie Riggenbach, said. "Hopefully, they'll restore his competence so he can stand trial."

A grand jury in March 2013 charged Thibodeaux with two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Prosecutor Anthony Saleme later indicated the District Attorney's Office would seek the death penalty against Thibodeaux. A trial date has never been set.

At Thursday's hearing, psychiatrists Sarah DeLand and Michelle Garriga testified Thibodeaux believes he is the son of God. The doctors based their conclusions that he was too mentally ill to stand trial on Thibodeaux's mental history and on their evaluations of him in July.

"He indicated that he was shot 30 times and all the bullets bounced off of him," DeLand said. She said Thibodeaux engages in "magical thinking" and embraces his belief that he's the son of God because of the 30 imaginary bullets that didn't penetrate his skin.


Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com

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