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Attorney For Accused Murderer In St. Mary Parish Shootings Seeks Psychiatric Evaluation For Him

48-year-old Wilbert Thibodeaux of Charenton stands accused of murdering two people, 78-year-old Eddie Lyons of Charenton and 52-year-old Sergeant Rick Riggenback with the Chitimacha Police Department, and shooting two St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s deputies, 23-year-old Jason Javier and 24-year-old Matthew Strickland, who survived the shootings.

Deputy Matthew Strickland, (Photo courtesy of State Police)
Deputy Matthew Strickland, (Photo courtesy of State Police)
Deputy Jason R. Javier, (Photo courtesy of State Police)
Deputy Jason R. Javier, (Photo courtesy of State Police)

Public defender Craig Colwart, who represents Thibodeaux, says “we’re in the process of preparing a motion for what’s called a sanity commission to test his sanity at the time of the offense and also whether he is competent to proceed, that he understands what is going on.” Colwart says the motion is to determine if Thibodeaux is mentally fit to assist in his own trial:

The separate issue is insanity at the time of the offense. And that is a pure defense to any case. And the issue there would be ‘Was he suffering from a mental illness such that he couldn’t tell right from wrong’?

 

Sergeant Rick Riggenback (Photo courtesy of State Police)
Sergeant Rick Riggenback (Photo courtesy of State Police)

Colwart says he had one of his investigators talk to Thibodeaux and “his report came back that Mr. Thibodeaux was exhibiting and talking in a very bizarre fashion.” Colwart says they are still trying to get a full perspective on the suspect’s mindset in the days leading up to the shooting.

In addition to the two counts of first-degree murder and the two counts of attempted first-degree murder, Thibodeaux is charged with one count of arson. Louisiana State Police Trooper Stephen Hammons says they believe Thibodeaux set ablaze the mobile home that the police officers were responding to, and that’s when Thibodeaux allegedly began his shooting spree.

Coverage of St. Mary Parish Shooting

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