Crime

Judge: Man competent to stand trial in Lexington slaying

A Lexington man accused of killing his ex-boyfriend at a shopping center last year was ruled competent to stand trial.

Toby Ray Lasure, 33, appeared in Fayette Circuit Court on Wednesday afternoon for a competency hearing.

Lasure is charged in the slaying of Christopher Tolliver, 31, on March 5, 2009, in a parking lot at Lexington Green off Nicholasville Road. After shooting Tolliver, Lasure led police on a high-speed chase. He is charged with murder, wanton endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident and fleeing police.

Two psychologists agreed Lasure either understood or had the ability to learn about the court system and the charges against him.

Steven Free, a psychologist at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, said he was part of observation and interviews with Lasure to test his competency to stand trial. He said Lasure was of at least average intelligence and seemed capable of learning what he did not already know about the court system.

Free said Lasure would not speak about the shooting in his interviews. Free said he inferred that Lasure understood the charges although he wouldn't discuss them or the potential consequences of his actions out loud.

Peter Schilling, a psychologist practicing in Lexington, agreed with Free's assessment. Schilling said Lasure was articulate and able to communicate with his attorney to aid in his own defense.

Schilling said Lasure was initially isolated in prison because his sexual orientation put him in danger of being hurt by other inmates. Schilling said this isolation might have taken a toll on Lasure's mental health, but Lasure is now in a prison unit where he has more freedom and communication with others.

Lasure's attorney did not contest the findings of the psychologists.

Judge Kimberly Bunnell ruled Lasure was competent to stand trial.

Lasure is scheduled to go on trial July 8.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments