BENTON, LA (KSLA) - The Bossier man accused of killing his estranged wife and discarding her remains in Webster Parish before fleeing the state in November has been found competent to stand trial.
Robert Bond, 53, is charged with second degree murder in the death of 46-year-old Annie Bond.
Bond's charred remains were discovered November 18 in a remote wooded area of northern Webster Parish, near Bayou Dorcheat, four days after she went missing.
Police tracked Robert Bond to a rest stop along I-10 in southern Mississippi the morning after Annie Bond's remains were found. Police say the 53-year-old Bond then shot himself with a .22 caliber handgun as officers approached.
Bond's attorneys previously asked a Bossier Parish judge to have local doctors examine him to determine his sanity both currently and at the time of the crime.
On Tuesday morning, family and friends of both Annie and Robert filled several rows in the courtroom. Some clutched tissues as Bond was brought out in his wheel chair wearing a helmet and prison jumpsuit.
He waved and smiled at some family members, even blowing his mother and sister a kiss. Some family members broke down in tears at the sight of him.
Bond's attorney Randal Fish says even though his client seemed to be in good spirits, he was apprehensive to see everyone.
"Seeing his mother and sister was a good thing, although seeing many of the other people was not a pleasant experience for him," said Fish.
Bossier Parish district judge Mike Nerren concluded Bond knew right from wrong at the time of the offense, after the reports of two physicians that examined him came back with very similar conclusions. Judge Nerren pointed out both reports were consistent almost to the detail.
One doctor noted, Bond complained about anxiety and trouble sleeping prior to the alleged crime. However, both reports found that when Bond allegedly killed his wife, he wasn't suffering any mental issues.
The physicians also found despite Bond's brain injury, he is mentally well enough to stand trial.
"He's got some real problems with his brain damage, but we have to go forward. He's competent, I think that issue is behind us now," Fish said.
Fish objected to the ruling in court for the record, but in an interview said the results weren't surprising.
"We've had the reports from both doctors for a little while now and it wasn't anything unexpected," he said.
Judge Nerren granted Fish's request to seal Bond's sanity evaluation records due to the amount of personal information included in each report.
Friends and family of Annie Bond held a vigil outside the courthouse in Benton before the hearing Tuesday morning, praying for justice and peace.
"We are here for one purpose because we all knew Annie and we loved Annie. We are here for her, because she can't be here," Annie's sister Therese Kneip said to group.
The group clasped hands near the courthouse flag poles, with each saying a one-word prayer, choosing to say something they need help with. Some prayed for hope, others prayed for love and guidance.
"We need to support each other, through this journey, we don't know how long its going to be, it could be a short journey it could be a long journey, but we need to be here for each other," said Kneip.
Fish said he doesn't know how quick or slow the court process will take to reach a resolution because there is a tremendous amount of evidence to comb through.
"The Bossier Parish Sheriff's office did a very thorough investigation, so we've got a small mountain of information to go through," he said.
Bond's next court date is set for June 17th.
Stay with KSLA News 12 for more details and updates.