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Bundy Watches Looks On As Lawyers Try To Prove Him Incompetent

December 14, 1987

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ Ted Bundy drank alcohol and may have taken drugs while assisting his defense during the 1980 trial at which he was convicted of the kidnap-murder of a 12-year-old girl, a defense investigator testified Monday.

″There were a couple of occasions here in Orlando when Ted became intoxicated,″ Donald R. Kennedy, investigator for the public defender’s office, said at a federal hearing to determine if Bundy was competent to stand trial and assist in his defense.

He also said Bundy seemed more interested in his appearance than in his defense.

Kennedy said the alcohol was in a juice can that ″had been doctored up″ and provided by Carole Boone, who was then Bundy’s fiancee.

Kennedy said he also discovered ″one or two pills in a bag of goodies″ brought in for Bundy during the state court trial. He indicated the alcohol and pill use was not infrequent.

Before the competency hearing was recessed for the day, former public defender Michael Coran said defense lawyers had discussed Bundy’s use of alcohol. Asked how the defendant was getting the alcohol, Coran said, ″through juice cans with flip tops ... there were those juice cans in the defense offices.″

Bundy was convicted and sentenced to death in Florida’s electric chair for the February 1978 murder of seventh-grader Kimberly Leach. He had earlier been convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of two Florida State University students in what became known as the Chi Omega Sorority case.

Bundy, a law school dropout from Tacoma, Wash., also is a suspect in the disappearance and murder of many young women in Washington, Utah, Colorado and other Western states.

He was an escapee from a Colorado jail when he killed Florida State students Margaret Bowman and Lisa Levy in January 1978. The Leach murder took place three weeks later.

Bundy, 40, came within seven hours of execution in November 1986 before a federal appeals court ordered the competency hearing in the Leach case. Bundy’s defense team called former Bundy lawyers and others to testify in efforts to overturn the 1980 verdict and get a new trial.

Kennedy and three former members of his defense team testified that Bundy was disinterested in the outcome of his two trials, that he sometimes interfered with defense efforts and that he was more preoccupied with his appearance, clothes, shoes and other matters than in defense tactics.

Asked about Bundy’s behavior following his February 1978 arrest, former Assistant Public Defender Joseph M. Nursey replied: ″I got the impression I was viewing a person that was not mentally healthy.″

Bruce Lubeck, an assistant U.S. attorney in Salt Lake City who was in private practice in August 1975, defended Bundy on a kidnapping charge in Utah and said Bundy was ″more concerned about how he appeared than about the case.″

While Bundy was in prison on that conviction, he was charged with the murder of a nurse in Aspen, Colo.

″He said he expected this ... That it would probably open the floodgates ... That he wasn’t worried about it,″ Lubeck testified.

Kennedy, chief investigator for the public defender’s office in Lake City, also described preparations leading up to Bundy’s marriage to Ms. Boone in the courtroom where he had just been convicted of murder.

He said the ″so-called marriage″ had been carefully planned by Bundy, with the assistance of his court-appointed attorney, Victor Africano.

The vows were repeated as Bundy, acting as his own attorney, ostensibly questioned Ms. Boone about his character during the sentencing phase of the Leach trial. Experts later said the ceremony appeared to be legal.

The hearing is expected to last several days.

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