Reid deemed mentally fit for double murder trial


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Originally Posted Online: Dec. 09, 2009, 5:41 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 09, 2009, 8:13 pm
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By Bill Mayeroff, bmayeroff@qconline.com
A suspect in two 2008 murders is fit to stand trial, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Dr. Kirk Witherspoon testified Wednesday afternoon that Elijah Reid, 31, is capable of understanding and assisting in his trial.

Mr. Reid is scheduled to go to trial in January for the April 2008 murders of Jermaine O. Robinson, 30, and Ryan J. Ferry, 22, both of Moline. The men were found shot to death in a car in Rock Island in what police say may have been a drug deal gone bad.

Dr. Witherspoon and Dr. David McEchron have testified previously that Mr. Reid's IQ is low at about 65. But Dr. Witherspoon told Judge Walter Braud Wednesday that he believes Mr. Reid understands what goes on in a trial.

"I think he's fine," Dr. Witherspoon said. "I recommend to the court he be found fit."

Judge Braud agreed, clearing the way for Mr. Reid's trial next month.

Reliability hearings also were held for two potential witnesses who had shared a jail cell block with Mr. Reid. In a reliability hearing, a judge rules whether a potential witness can be relied on to testify truthfully.

Perry Slater and Leon Simpson both told Judge Braud of their conversations with Mr. Reid about the murders while incarcerated in the Rock Island County Jail.

Mr. Slater, now in a federal prison in Atlanta, said he was in jail with Mr. Reid in April 2008 shortly after Mr. Reid's arrest. Mr. Slater said Mr. Reid told him about getting into a car with the victims to complete a drug transaction, adding that Mr. Reid said he shot both men as money was being counted.

"He said he upped the pistol and popped them," Mr. Slater said.

Reliability hearings for two more witnesses are planned Thursday afternoon, with Judge Braud expected to rule on the reliability of all four witnesses after Thursday's proceedings.




















 



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  Today is Tuesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Everybody is invited to go on a moonlight excursion next Monday evening on the steamer New Boston. The trip will be from Davenport to Muscatine and back.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The mayor and bridge committee let a contract to the Clinton Bridge company for a $1,125 iron bridge across Sears canal near Milan.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Injunction proceedings to compel the Central Association to keep a baseball team in Rock Island for the remainder of the season were contemplated by some of the Rock Island fans, but they decided to defer action.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The first of the new and more powerful diesel engines built for the Rock Island Lines for the proposed Chicago-Denver run, passed thru the Tri-Cities this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Rescue Mission is negotiating for the purchase of the Prince Hall Masonic Home located at 37th Avenue and 5th Street, Rock Island.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Quad Cities Container Terminal is being lauded as a giant business boon that will save several days and hundreds of dollars on each goods shipment to the coasts. The Quad Cities Container Terminal is the final piece of the puzzle that opens up increase access to world markets, Robert Goldstein said.








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