BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A 35-year-old Florida man who is accused of killing and then eating parts of a homeless man in Connecticut is expected to use an insanity defense in a murder trial getting underway Monday.
A three-judge panel will hear evidence against Tyree Lincoln Smith of Lynn Haven, Fla. Smith is charged with murder in the death of Angel Gonzalez, who was killed on the third floor of an abandoned Bridgeport home in December 2011. His body was found 39 days later by an inspector for a mortgage company.
Smith came to the attention of authorities when his cousin contacted Bridgeport police about Gonzalez's slaying. She told detectives that Smith had arrived at her house on Dec. 15, 2011, and said he wanted to "get blood on his hands" before going to the abandoned home, where he used to live, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
The next day, Smith returned to the cousin's house with blood on his pants, hands and an ax, the affidavit said. Smith told his cousin that he killed Gonzalez with the ax, then collected one of his victim's eyes and some of his brain matter and consumed them in a nearby cemetery, washing it down with sake, according to court documents.
Public defender Joseph Bruckman said he plans an insanity defense and will call two Yale University psychiatrists to support that claim.
"This case speaks to the severity of untreated chronic mental illness in society," Schissler told the Connecticut Post. "There's little treatment available. Prisons and jails are where most end up."
Less than a month after the killing, Smith was treated and released from St. Vincent's Medical Center's Behavioral Health Services in Westport after being discovered in a pharmacy bleeding from his wrist, which police said he had slashed with a box cutter.
He was eventually discharged and returned to Florida, where he was arrested on Jan. 23, 2012, and charged with murder. If convicted, Smith faces up to 60 years in prison.