Slaying suspect faked hallucinations

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AUBURN, Ala. --- A man accused of killing an Auburn University freshman has been faking hallucinations in jail and is fit to stand trial on an unrelated robbery charge, a psychological exam has determined.

Courtney Lockhart, 23, of Smiths Station, has pleaded not guilty in the March 4 slaying of 18-year-old Lauren Burk, of Marietta, Ga. He also faces several robbery charges.

A Russell County Circuit Court judge in April ordered the psychological evaluation to determine whether Mr. Lockhart was competent to stand trial for a Feb. 29 armed robbery in a Wal-Mart parking lot. Glen D. King, a Montgomery psychologist who performed the exam, determined Mr. Lockhart is "not suffering from a serious mental illness or mental defect" and said his claims of auditory and visual hallucinations aren't credible. He recommended the court find Mr. Lockhart competent to stand trial in the robbery.

Last month, a Lee County Circuit Court judge ordered a separate mental evaluation to determine if Mr. Lockhart should stand trial for both the robbery and Ms. Burk's slaying. The court ordered the results of that evaluation sealed. Legal proceedings in the case have been postponed pending the outcome of the second evaluation.

Lee County District Attorney Nick Abbett was out of town and unavailable for comment Tuesday, and Mr. Lockhart's attorney, Joel Collins of Opelika, did not immediately return a call for comment from The Associated Press. The court has issued a gag order barring parties to the case from discussing it.

The Birmingham News first reported on the mental evaluation in Tuesday's editions.

According to court records, Mr. Lockhart confessed to police that he abducted Ms. Burk on campus, robbed her, then drove her off campus and shot her.

Mr. Lockhart's attorneys have filed paperwork indicating they may pursue an insanity defense.

The court-ordered psychological evaluation included new details about Mr. Lockhart's history, including that he regularly uses marijuana, has seen his father "only three times in his entire life," and has a 2-year-old daughter.

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SargentMidTown
8
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SargentMidTown 07/16/08 - 02:48 am
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Mr. Lockhart sounds like

Mr. Lockhart sounds like trash. `

pofwe
5
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pofwe 07/16/08 - 05:09 am
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This "bird," knows the system

This "bird," knows the system ... and the sorry S.O.B. is working it. Burn him at the stake. Need a light?

christian134
1
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christian134 07/16/08 - 06:14 am
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So the use of marijuana and

So the use of marijuana and not seeing his father made him hear voices that ordered him to rob and kill...Right....Sounds like this guy would have used the "Twinkie defense" if it had not already be tried....

yak11
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yak11 07/16/08 - 07:44 am
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I say they convict and then

I say they convict and then FAKE a couple of executions. You know bring him in, blindfold him put him on a scaffold pull the trap and have him drop say a foot.

getalife
4
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getalife 07/16/08 - 07:47 am
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Mentally ill and insane is

Mentally ill and insane is too often used and faked to keep these criminals off death row or life in prison. Anyone can fake these conditions and appear retarded. A life taken is still a life taken and these criminals should be tried in court regardless of their mental condition. More lawyers, more appeals, more court time and more taxpayer's money wasted!!

White_Trash1
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White_Trash1 07/16/08 - 11:15 am
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Give him a fair trial and

Give him a fair trial and hang him in the morning.

Redibear
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Redibear 07/16/08 - 11:29 am
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I am with all of you...if it

I am with all of you...if it was legal, I would say no trial for the S.O.B. Deep fry him now. The life he took wanted to live and be free just as much as he is trying to be free. This man only wants to be free so he can go on killing folks and destroying lives. Let him burn now...jail is too good for him.

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