Attorney asks is Leo Laurent fit to stand trial for wife's murder - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Attorney asks if Leo Laurent is fit to stand trial for wife's murder

Leo Laurent (Photo source: Hancock Co. Sheriff's Dept.) Leo Laurent (Photo source: Hancock Co. Sheriff's Dept.)
HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) -

By Al Showers – bio | email

HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) – Is Leo Laurent fit to stand trial for the murder of his wife? That's a question his attorney wants a court to answer.

Laurent is accused of killing his wife, Brandi, in August 2007 and burying her body not far from their Hancock County home.

Laurent's murder trial is scheduled to begin next month. But his lawyer wants off the case, saying his client is undermining his own defense.

Attorney Brian Alexander said Laurent is doing things to compromise the case, including sending a letter to the victim's mother.

"Some of the language he wrote in his letter tracks verbatim at least one of the statements we're seeking to suppress on the grounds that he was forced into making those statements," Alexander said.

Alexander filed a two part motion in Hancock County Circuit Court, asking for a competency hearing to determine if Laurent can properly assist in his own defense. The second part of the motion asked the court to allow Alexander to withdraw as Laurent's attorney.

"Recently his behavior has led me to believe that there is a true disconnect between his actions and the legal ramifications, therefore calling into question whether he is able to rationally and reasonably assist his lawyer in preparing his own defense."  

Laurent has pleaded not guilty and has blamed his wife's murder on a drug lifestyle.

Alexander said Laurent has not been helpful in preparing for trial. But after sending that letter to his mother-in-law, Alexander believes Laurent is actually undermining the case.

"You know, we're limited in what we can say, but everything I'm saying today is on the public record and has already been written about in the media. Who, quote unquote, in their right mind would act this way given the ramifications or the possible ramifications of your actions?"

Circuit Court Judge Roger Clark is expected to hear the motions Friday morning. Alexander said he'll continue to represent Laurent, if that's what the judge orders.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly