Fayette Circuit Judge James Ishmael Jr. found Cory Don Etherington competent Tuesday to stand trial for the beating death of an 87-year-old man.
Etherington, 33, is accused of murder in the July 2014 death of John Tully, whose body was found in a breezeway at the Old Farm Apartments on Appian Way. Tully had been beaten in the head and upper torso and died of blunt-force trauma.
Etherington was Tully's roommate and had been evicted before the beating, court documents say.
Dr. Amy Trivette, assistant director of forensic services at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in LaGrange, was the only witness to testify during Tuesday's competency hearing. Trivette had evaluated Etherington on several occasions.
Trivette said Etherington "was clearly suffering from psychosis" and delusional beliefs.
As long as Etherington continues to take his medications, "he can participate rationally in his defense," Trivette said. Etherington has stopped the drugs in the past.
During a 2013 confrontation with Lexington police, Etherington told officers that voices in his head told him to punch his grandmother in the eye.
After finding Etherington competent Tuesday, Ishmael encouraged the defendant to continue taking his medications.
"To my recollection, you've always been very respectful in court," Ishmael told Etherington. "I've appreciated that, sir."
The grandmother was in court Tuesday, and Ishmael allowed her to hug Etherington after the hearing.
Etherington faces new charges. On Monday, a Fayette County grand jury indicted him on two counts of third-degree assault after he allegedly caused or attempted to cause physical injury to two officers at the Fayette County Detention Center.
Etherington was initially scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 20 on those charges, but Ishmael rescheduled the arraignment for Aug. 18.
Third-degree assault is a felony punishable by one to five years in prison.
A date for trial on the murder charge has not been scheduled.