Judge denies insanity motion for confessed killer Eric Mickelson

Judge denies insanity motion for confessed killer Eric Mickelson

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Confessed killer Eric Mickelson filed an insanity motion in a Caddo Parish courtroom Tuesday. Mickelson's public defenders filed the motion after they say he was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder and that Mickelson "lacks the capacity to proceed."

But, prosecutors say this is just a "delaying tactic."

Judge Ramona Emanuel denied the motion and says the trial is back on track unless a Supreme Court grants a writ for continuance.

Mickelson, 46, was sentenced to death in August 2011 following his conviction on first degree murder in the death of of Charles Martin, an 86-year-old retired painting contractor whose body was found dismembered and scattered around various parts of Caddo Parish in 2007.

Martin is believed to have been strangled to death when Mickelson and a female accomplice allegedly broke into his home.

Mickelson confessed to Martin's murder following his arrest, and to killing Kristi O'Pry 11 years earlier. He was the last person seen with O'Pry before she disappeared in July of 1996. Mickelson told detectives he strangled O'Pry, then disposed of her body in a pond on his Woolworth Road property. He was later charged with second-degree murder in that case.

Mickelson appealed his conviction, arguing that the district court failed to allow the defense to exercise a peremptory challenge and excuse a prospective juror from the capital case because he would not consider intoxication as a mitigating factor in the sentencing phase.

Part of Mickelson's defense was that he was high on cocaine at the time of the murder, and under the law, intoxication "shall be considered" as a mitigating circumstance.

Mickelson's retrial is scheduled to begin on March 9, 2015.

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