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 Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.






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