Larry Archie Rountree is charged with shooting his 50-year-old father, Cleston, with a .30-.30 rifle at their Tunnel Hill home.
Rountree was not capable of attending the hearing Thursday due to his mental illness, court officials said. Rountree suffers from paranoid and catatonic schizophrenia, according to Dr. David Solovey, a psychologist who has worked with Rountree since his initial indictment in 2003.
Jurors heard testimony from two psychologists and two employees of the Catoosa County Detention Center about Rountrees mental condition.
All witnesses agreed Rountree was not capable of attending court, did not understand his criminal situation and was not able to help his defense attorneys with his case.
He is by far as regressed as anyone Ive seen in (about 28 years) of practice, Solovey said.
In Nov. 22, 2004, a Catoosa Superior Court judge determined Rountree was incapable of standing trial due to state mental evaluations and Rountrees history of mental illness.
According to Solovey, Rountrees history of mental illness encompassed most of his adult life and began during the middle of his high school years. He said this was typical of individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia, which typically appears in an individual between the ages of 18-22. Solovey added that Rountree has become increasingly dysfunctional.
In 2004, Judge Kristina Cook Connelly ordered Rountree to a maximum-security state mental hospital in Milledgeville, Ga., for further evaluation. He was at the Catoosa Detention Center before that order.
The hospital deemed Rountree as possibly competent to stand trail after months of treatment and returned him to the Catoosa County jail.
Pat Bedford, captain of the Catoosa County jail, said since Rountrees return in June 2005, he had interacted with him an average of four-five days a week and had observed abnormal behavior from the inmate. He added that Rountree had constant mood swings and he has seen him go from acting extremely aggressive one moment to acting delusional and suicidal the next.
Bedford said Rountree had difficulty completing tasks and meeting his basic needs, such as bathing and using the restroom.
He said Rountree did not interact well with other inmates and stayed in isolation for long periods of time.
Dr. Sam Perry, director of forensic services at Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital, has evaluated Rountree four different times since his arrest. The last time he evaluated Rountree was Jan. 10, 2006 and he said it took him less than 15 minutes to determine Rountrees mental instability.
He was totally irrational and laughed inappropriately, Perry said.
He added that if Rountree was pretending to be ill, he was one of the best actors hed ever seen.
This is a case where there is no disagreement, said prosecutor Len Gregor, Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit assistant district attorney.
Rountrees case was unique because the defense and prosecution both felt Rountree was not able to stand trial, Gregor said.
Georgia law states that mentally incompetent individuals cannot stand trial, Catoosa Superior Court Judge Ralph Van Pelt told jurors.
After the jurys decision, Van Pelt ordered Rountree to return to a maximum-security mental hospital, possibly in Milledgeville, Ga. He said Rountrees return to Catoosa County was dependent on his ability to stand trial in the future.
Rountree is charged with murder, felony murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, reckless conduct and two counts of aggravated assault.
He and his father had an on-going verbal disagreement for about five days before he shot his father, authorities said
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in this case.
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