A Florida man was found not guilty by reason of insanity after he was accused of killing a homeless man with an ax and eating his eyeball and brain.
Tyree Lincoln Smith, 35, was charged in the 2011 murder of Angel Gonzalez in Connecticut. Gonzelez was hacked with an ax and his decomposed body was found, with skull, brain matter and an eyeball removed on a third-floor landing in an abandoned building where he had been squatting. That building was Smith’s former home.
A three-judge panel said the prosecution proved that Smith had in fact killed Gonzalez, but that the defense also proved that Smith was mentally ill.
Smith’s cousin, Nicole Rabb, testified in court that Smith had been covering in blood when he told her he killed Gonzalez in order to eat him.
“Tyree told his cousin the blows to Gonzalez's head were so severe that he was able to remove an eye from the man's head along with pieces of brain matter and a piece of his skull,” the arrest warrant states.
Rabb said Smith claimed the eyeball “tasted like an oyster.”
Court documents said Smith consumed parts of Gonzalez’s body in a nearby cemetery and washed it down with sake.
“We have to look at the big picture,” said his attorney Joseph Bruckmann. “We can't overlook that he ate part of the man's brain and his eyeballs in a cemetery. There have been two tragedies in this case. The first was the senseless death of Mr. Gonzalez, and the second is that Tyree Smith has been a tortured soul for many years. He's been tortured by voices for decades and now that he is properly medicated he is horrified he caused Mr. Gonzalez's death.”
“The defendant was unable, as a result of a mental disease, a psychosis attended by command hallucinations, to control his conduct within the requirements of the law,” one of the judge's said.
Gonzalez’s body was found by an inspector from a mortgage company 39 days after his death. Arrested in 2012, Smith said he saw the body on the landing and noticed it had no eyes, but told authorities he did not touch it.
He was transferred to Whiting Forensic Institute, a mental health facility in Middletown, Conn., until his next hearing in court on September 9 where psychiatrist testimony will be heard.