Reid deemed mentally fit for double murder trial


Share
Originally Posted Online: Dec. 09, 2009, 5:41 pm
Last Updated: Dec. 09, 2009, 8:13 pm
Comment on this story | Print this story | Email this story
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.




















 



Local events heading








  Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: We learn that it is a contemplation to start a paper mill in Rock Island during the summer by a gentleman from the East.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The gates of Oklahoma were swung open at noon today, and a throng of more than 30,000 settlers started over its soil.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Iowa Coliseum Co. was incorporated with $40,000 capital and planned a building on 4th Street between Warren and Green streets in Davenport.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans are being discussed for resurfacing the streets in the entire downtown district of Rock Island.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Some 45 jobs will be created at J.I. Case Co.'s Rock Island plant in a expansion of operations announced yesterday afternoon at the firm's headquarters in Racine, Wis.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Gardeners and farmers cheered, but not all Quad-Citians found joy Saturday as more than an inch of rain fell on the area. Motorists faced dangerous, rain-slick roads as the water activated grease and grime that had built up during dry weather.








(More History)