Main | Friday, December 11, 2009

Killer Of Gay Teen Jorge Mercado Found Mentally Incompetent To Stand Trial

Juan Martinez Matos, the confessed killer of Puerto Rican gay teen Jorge Mercado, has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial for the time being. But is he faking it?
Psychiatrist Rafael Cabrera urged Caguas Superior Court Judge Camila Jusino to send the 26-year old suspect, Juan Martínez Matos, back to the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital in Río Piedras to keep him under evaluation by the medical staff there. However, Cabrera acknowledged during a preliminary hearing that he is not certain whether the symptoms of psychosis referred to by the defendant are real, feigned or exaggerated.

Under questioning by prosecutor Yaritza Carrasquillo, the psychiatrist agreed that the facts that Martínez Matos says he cannot clearly remember are essentially those of the night of the crime. The judge ordered Martínez Matos to undergo another evaluation on January 7 and set a new hearing on his fitness to face criminal proceedings for January 13. Gay rights activist Pedro Julio Serrano was quick to criticize the court developments. “Although full justice can never be done, as Jorge Steven is no longer with us, the process of prosecuting the confessed murderer in one of the most heinous crimes committed in the history of our country has been delayed again,” Serrano said in a statement .
Note that the above-linked story describes Mercado as a "19 year-old transvestite," despite there being no evidence other than the killer's word that Mercado was in drag at the time that Matos decapitated him and burned his body.

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