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Teen found competent to stand trial in Linda Frickey murder case

Orleans Criminal District Court Judge Kimya Holmes declared Lenyra Theophile competent after hearing testimony from three doctors.

NEW ORLEANS — Thursday, a weight was lifted off the shoulders of Linda Frickey’s family.

A judge ruled Lenyra Theophile, the fourth defendant in the murder case of Frickey, was deemed competent to stand trial.

“She knew right from wrong. They all knew right from wrong. They were old enough to know right and wrong and they chose wrong,” Frickey’s sister, Jinnylynn Griffin, said.

In court, Thursday, three doctors all agreed Theophile is competent, after being deemed incompetent a few months ago. After the incompetent ruling, Theophile spent at least 60 days in a mental health facility.

The minimum score to be deemed competent is 80%. A few months ago, Theophile first scored 56.6%. May 8th, she scored 84%.

This now means, Theophile can understand the nature of the proceedings, and assist in her defense. Frickey’s family is now hoping this means one single trial.

Thursday, Judge Kimya Holmes also objected to expert testimony the defense was trying to bring in, that would have been used to talk about child brain development.

It’s an argument Frickey’s family is against.

“They keep coming back and saying ‘oh their brains aren’t developed.’ Well you can take a five year old child and they’ll tell you, you don’t take things that don’t belong to you, you don’t hurt people. Pretty simple concept,” Kathy Richard, Frickey’s sister in law said.

Law Professor Dane Ciolino says he's not sure why the defense thinks that type of testimony would be relevant in this case.

“Typically if a defendant is tried on a not guilty plea, rather than on an insanity plea, then a mental health testimony is excluded from evidence. The defense’s request to put on that expert testimony is unusual,” Ciolino said.

The trial is set for March 18, 2024. The District Attorney has filed an appeal to try and get this case to court sooner.

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