Third competency evaluation ordered for murder suspect Lucero - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Third competency evaluation ordered for murder suspect Lucero

Cody Ray Lucero. (Source: Lake Charles Police Department) Cody Ray Lucero. (Source: Lake Charles Police Department)
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

A third opinion will be offered as soon as possible on the competency of Cody Ray Lucero to stand trial, according to a ruling made Friday by Judge Clayton Davis in state district court.

Lucero faces one count of second-degree murder for the 2013 death of Edward Wilkes at an apartment on Iris Street in Lake Charles.

During a sanity hearing that spanned three days, two psychologists testified to their individual assessments of Lucero.

On Wednesday, Dr. James Anderson testified based off an assessment taken in April, Lucero did not meet certain criteria that in his opinion qualified Lucero as competent to stand trial. Dr. Anderson's opinion was that Lucero was not competent now, but with supervised treatment for a period of time, Lucero may be brought to competency.

In contrast, Dr. Garrett Ryder testified Friday that based off of his individual assessment of Lucero in March, he is competent to stand trial. Ryder testified that Lucero didn't want to be found competent because he does not want to face the charges he is facing. Ryder said that when he told Lucero he was going to find him competent, Lucero looked "fearful."

"I think we have to err on the side of caution when dealing with competency to stand trial" Lucero's defense attorney Andrew Casanave argued. "We either need to get a third doctor, or send him (Lucero) to the hospital" Casanave added.

Assistant District Attorney Christy May argued the state believes Lucero is competent, but believes a third opinion would be a cautious and appropriate move forward.

Lucero pleaded not guilty in August.

The next hearing on this matter is set for June 20 before Judge Davis.

Copyright 2014 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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