The attorney for alleged serial killer Ryan Sharpe said Monday he hopes to file motions by week's end in East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes asking that the Clinton man undergo a mental health evaluation to determine whether he is competent to proceed, and if he was sane when he allegedly fatally shot three men and wounded a fourth last year.
Sharpe, 36, is charged with one count each of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in East Feliciana, and one count of second-degree murder in East Baton Rouge.
He appeared in state District Judge Trudy White's courtroom Monday in Baton Rouge for a motion hearing in the second-degree murder case involving the Sept. 19 drive-by shooting of 66-year-old Carroll Breeden Sr., but no motions were heard. Sharpe's attorney, Tommy Damico, said he is still receiving evidence from authorities in East Feliciana and East Baton Rouge parishes.
Outside the courtroom, Damico said he will try to file motions for the appointment of a sanity commission by the end of the week, and once doctors are appointed by the court to examine Sharpe, all proceedings in the cases will halt until a sanity hearing is held.
"Of course that stops everything until we have a hearing, and that may take a while," Damico said.
Breeden's son, Buzz Breeden, said his family is prepared for the sanity-related stage of the case.
"That's where the tracks have been leading. Let's find out," he said.
East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney John Russell said outside the courtroom that, as far as he knows, Sharpe has not been diagnosed previously with mental health issues.
If it is determined that Sharpe knew right from wrong at the time of the shootings, Russell said, the Breeden case could be presented to an East Baton Rouge grand jury again for consideration of a first-degree murder charge that could carry the death penalty.
East Feliciana Parish District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla said earlier this month he doesn't plan on seeking the death penalty in the Oct. 9 slaying of Brad DeFranceschi, 48, at this point. That killing is the only one in which Sharpe is charged with first-degree murder.
Sharpe also is charged with second-degree murder in the July 8 shooting death of Tommy Bass, 62, and attempted first-degree murder in the Sept. 12 shooting of Buck Hornsby, 47.
The four shootings occurred within a 25-mile radius of the Bluff Creek area.
Damico said his impending request for the appointment of a sanity commission is not based merely on the nature of the crimes.
“It’s based in part on evidence I’ve received. It’s based on information made available to me through discovery,” Damico said. “He needs to be examined.”
Sharpe called police in October and identified himself as the shooter in the four incidents. He then led deputies on a lengthy car chase before surrendering. He is being held without bail.
Bass was killed outside his house on La. 960. Hornsby was wounded in front of his residence not far from Bass’ home. Breeden, a former East Baton Rouge Parish Recreation and Park Commission member, was gunned down while doing yardwork at his home in Pride. DeFranceschi was killed in front of the Scout ranger’s house near La. 63 at the edge of the Avondale Scout Reservation in Clinton.
Breeden’s widow and his five children filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Sharpe in December.
Sharpe’s next court dates are May 29 in East Feliciana and June 13 in East Baton Rouge.
Accused of killing three men and injuring another during a series of shootings last year, alleged East Feliciana serial killer Ryan Sharpe pr…