Psychiatric Tests Ordered For Accused Cop Killers
INKSTER, Mich. (AP) _ A judge on Wednesday ordered psychiatric tests for three of four family members accused of fatally shooting three police officers and delayed a preliminary hearing for more than a month.
During a 15-minute hearing in a small courtroom heavily guarded by police, Judge Robert Brzezinski ordered the evaluations for Alberta Easter, 69, and two of her sons, Roy Lemons Jr., 43, and George L. Lemons, 45.
A third son charged in the slayings, William Lemons, 47, will not undergo testing. William Lemons’ attorney, Juan Mateo, said he was ready to proceed.
However, Brzezinski noted the heavy security Wednesday and said separate hearings would require ″an inordinate amount of work.″
He scheduled a preliminary hearing Aug. 25 for all four defendants to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant a trial. He said hearings on their competency to stand trial, if necessary, would be held the same day.
More than 100 people lined up at the courthouse, some arriving three hours before the hearing began shortly after 10 a.m. About 50 were admitted, a capacity crowd, with about 10 relatives of the victims seated together.
Easter and her sons sat quietly, clad in prison shirts and trousers. Easter said as she walked in, her arms outstretched, ″You all excuse my appearance, please.″
″Miss Easter’s present state of mind is such ... that she does not understand the nature and purpose of this hearing and is unable to assist me in her defense in a rational manner,″ her attorney, Monsey Wilson, told Brzezinski.
Police had gone to the Bungalow Motel in Inkster, a city of about 35,000 in Detroit’s western suburbs, the evening of July 9 to arrest Easter and one of her sons on a bad check charge when they apparently were met with a hail of gunfire, according to police investigators.
Ten hours later, Easter and her three sons surrendered and were arrested on first-degree murder charges. The bodies of police Sgt. Ira Parker, 41, and officers Daniel Dubiel, 36, and Clay Hoover, 24, were found in rooms in the motel.
Investigators have said the officers were shot six to 13 times each, with tests indicating some shots were from the officers’ own revolvers and some from a cache of weapons allegedly belonging to the suspects.
Sheriff Robert Ficano said about 25 state, Wayne County and city law enforcement officers provided security. Those entering the room were searched with a hand-held metal detector, and an explosive-sniffing dog was led around the building and among the waiting spectators as a precaution, he said.