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Columbia Missourian

Defendant in Truman Veterans Hospital homicide to remain in jail pending evaluation

By Arthur Cook Bremer
May 30, 2013 | 4:47 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The defense attorney for a man accused of killing a fellow patient at Truman Veterans Hospital in February withdrew his motion to transfer his client to a Missouri Department of Corrections mental health facility.

Rudy Perez Jr.'s attorney, David Tyson Smith, withdrew the request he made Tuesday before 13th Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler in Boone County that his client be transferred from the county jail to the Biggs Forensic Center of Fulton State Hospital, pending a mental evaluation.

Perez was charged with the first-degree murder of Robert O. Hill at Truman Veterans Hospital. Smith has said that his client has a history of schizophrenia and was not taking medication at the time of the incident.

Perez has entered a plea of not guilty by means of mental disease or defect and was later ordered to undergo an evaluation to determine if he was mentally competent at the time of the incident.

At Tuesday's hearing, Smith said: "(Perez) is having some mental health issues, and we're deciding the best way to handle these issues while we're awaiting the mental examination."

Smith withdrew the motion Thursday and stated that his client's "medication issues have been resolved for now."