A 66-year-old member of a prominent Acadiana family charged in a drive-by shooting has been committed to a state mental hospital after doctors found him incompetent to stand trial.
Braxton Moody IV, who has been held in the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System’s facility in Jackson since his July 27 arrest in the shooting, will undergo more-intense treatment at the hospital’s Forensic Facility in an effort to restore his competency, according to court records.
Heeding the recommendations of the two psychiatric professionals appointed to Moody’s sanity commission, 15th Judicial District Judge Patrick Michot signed the commitment order on Oct. 21.
Moody’s commitment means he must be entered into the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which would prevent him from buying a firearm upon his release. The stipulation is part of an almost 2-year-old state law that requires all involuntary commitments be reported to the federal database to prevent mentally ill people from buying guns.
Moody’s Lafayette attorney, Lawrence Billeaud, was not available Wednesday for comment.
Moody, a Lafayette resident with a history of mental illness, is accused of firing several shots into a Cadillac Escalade belonging to his ex-wife’s boyfriend after she and the boyfriend returned from dining out about 11 p.m. on July 22.
Law enforcement later apprehended Moody at Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport and found a 9 mm handgun and a 20-gauge shotgun in his Land Rover.
Moody told Tulane University School of Medicine Drs. Clay Kelly Jr., a psychiatrist, and Charles P. Vosburg, a psychologist, that he fired the shots because he thought members of a biker gang were about to murder his ex-wife and her friend. Court documents show that he also claimed the Lafayette theater shooting — which happened a day after the July 22 shooting in which Moody is accused — actually was an FBI ploy to kill him, as was the 2012 Aurora theater shooting in Colorado.
The doctors characterized him as “highly delusional and nonlinear” and diagnosed him with schizoaffective and bipolar disorders.
Should Moody’s competency be restored during his time at the hospital, he’ll be returned to the custody of the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office and ordered to stand trial.
Moody, whose father, B.I. Moody III, is the namesake of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s college of business, is a member of an Acadiana family with a range of business interests, including more than 20 small-town newspapers and many restaurants.
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