A double-murder trial is on hold in Baltimore County because the defendant, a former police officer with a state agency who is accused of killing two Baltimore City police officers, has been found incompetent to stand trial.
An evaluation by state doctors found that Eugene Victor Perry Jr., 34, suffers from a mental disorder that makes him dangerous, court records show. He is being held at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, a state psychiatric facility in Jessup, under an order by a Baltimore County circuit judge.
Perry's attorney, Warren A. Brown, said yesterday that Perry has been hearing voices and gets particularly emotional when someone attempts to talk to him about the killings.
"If you force it to him, it's like approaching Dracula with the cross," Brown said. "He breaks down. He almost makes his way into a fetal position."
Perry is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his former fiance, Leslie A. Holliday, and a co-worker she was dating, Adam Vazquez. They were shot to death in December in Vazquez's Pikesville townhouse.
A couple who had let Perry into the house just before the shootings called police after the two officers were shot on the second floor.
Perry, of Baltimore, was an officer with the state Department of General Services at the time of the shootings. Holliday, 34, and Vazquez, 26, worked the midnight shift at the city Police Department's Northwest District.
An order, signed July 13 by Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert N. Dugan, states that Perry is "not able to understand the nature or object of the proceeding or to assist in the defense."
Perry will remain in the custody of the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene until he is found competent to stand trial or until he is found to no longer pose a danger to himself or others, under the court order.
The prosecutor in the case, Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst, said she has been told that Perry will be evaluated every three months. The next evaluation is possibly set for next month.
Perry has been at Perkins Hospital since late March, Brown said.
In February, an official from the state Health Department wrote that he believed Perry may have "lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct and to conform that conduct to the requirements of the law," according to court documents.
In May, state doctors wrote that evaluators believe Perry is "dangerous due to a mental disorder," court documents show.
"They've kept him down there and looked at him and looked at him to make sure he's not malingering and making this thing up, and they're confident that he's not," Brown said of officials at Perkins.
Holliday's mother, Bernice Johnson of Joppa, said yesterday about the trial being put on hold, "I am still upset, and whenever I talk about it I get very upset. So right now, I cannot say anything."