Defendant Tyree Lincoln Smith, right, makes eye contact with his attorney, public defender Joseph Bruckmann, after a three-judge panel found him not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of a homeless man he admitted to killing and partially eating, Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in state Superior Court in Bridgeport, Conn. (AP Photo/The Connecticut Post, Brian A. Pounds, Pool)
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A three-judge panel has found a man not guilty by reason of insanity in the death of a homeless man he admitted to killing and partially eating.
The Connecticut Post reports (http://bit.ly/10LsBdE) the judges deliberated about an hour Tuesday before finding that prosecutors had proven 35-year-old Tyree Lincoln Smith of Lynn Haven, Fla., killed and cannibalized Angel Gonzalez in December 2011, but that Smith was legally insane at the time.
The judges will determine on Sept. 9 whether Smith should be committed to a mental hospital.
During the trial, prosecutors presented a videotaped statement to police in which Smith says he used a hatchet to kill Gonzalez, then took out the man’s eyes and part of his brain and ate them.
Smith was charged with murder in the death of Gonzalez, who was killed on the third floor of an abandoned Bridgeport home. His body was found more than a month later by an inspector for a mortgage company.
Smith came to the attention of authorities when his cousin contacted Bridgeport police about Gonzalez’s slaying. She told detectives that Smith had arrived at her house on Dec. 15, 2011, and said he wanted to “get blood on his hands” before going to the abandoned home, where he used to live, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The next day, Smith returned to the cousin’s house with blood on his pants, hands and an ax, the affidavit said. Smith told his cousin that he killed Gonzalez with the ax, then collected parts of his victim and consumed them in a nearby cemetery, washing them down with sake, according to court documents.
Public defender Joseph Bruckmann handled the insanity defense.
Less than a month after the killing, Smith was treated and released from St. Vincent’s Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Services in Westport after being discovered in a pharmacy bleeding from his wrist, which police said he had slashed with a box cutter.
He was eventually discharged and returned to Florida, where he was arrested on Jan. 23, 2012.
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