Family reacts after Wright declared unfit for trial

POSTED: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 5:52pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 5:56pm

A judge ruled Jeremiah Wright - the man accused of beheading his seven-year-old son - is not fit to stand trial.

Today's court proceeding lasted only about ten minutes, but it was enough time to delay any possible trial of Wright until at least February of next year. That news was visibly upsetting to the family of seven-year old Jori Lirette.

After the decision by Judge John LeBlanc, Wright was guarded by security as he was taken out of a side door to a waiting police car.

The judge made all others remain sitting inside the courtroom to protect against any emotional outburst.

Lirette's family showed in large numbers and filled up the first two rows of the courtroom Tuesday. After the judge's decision, family members dropped their faces into their hands, and some even verbally shouted their disapproval. Judge LeBlanc said he based his decision on the findings of two court-appointed psychiatrists.

"Next step is to go to the Forensic Division of Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System in Jackson, La.," said Kerry Cuccia, Wright's attorney. "There he will receive treatment to restore him to mental capacity to proceed."

Judge LeBlanc requested monthly updates on the status of Wright. At the end of January, both sides will return to court and the judge will decide whether or not Wright is then mentally competent to stand trial.

The judge's exact ruling was that Wright did not have the mental capacity to assist his lawyers in his own defense.

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