Alexander Kinyua, the Maryland college student police say committed cannibalism when he used an an ax to chop up a man and eat his heart and parts of his brain, has been sent to a state mental hospital to see if he is competent enough to stand trial.
Alexander Kinyua, 21, was formally indicted on first-degree murder and assault charges last week and transferred to Clifton T. Perkins Hospital in Jessup, Md., for a competency evaluation, the Baltimore Sun reported.
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Kinyua, a student at Morgan State University, is accused of killing Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie, 37, a Ghanaian national who was staying with Kinyua's family in the Baltimore suburb of Joppatowne in 2012. Police claim Kinyua confessed to murdering Agyei-Kodie, dismembering him, and eating his organs.
Kinyua also reportedly wrote a series of Facebook posts in February that referenced the Virginia Tech massacre, human sacrifices, and ethnic cleansing.
The mental hospital evaluation will screen Kinyua for mental illnesses and determine whether is able to cooperate with attorneys to build a defense.
"The craziness of the acts, or how abhorrent the actions [are], does not in any way determine whether a person was sane or insane," Dr. Park Dietz, one of the country's foremost forensic psychiatrists who is not involved in the Kinyua case, told The Sun. "Mental illness can cause people to do completely uncharacteristic things, including very primitive things that they wouldn't dream of doing when they were well. People who are acutely mentally ill in a span of days or weeks can go from seemingly good mental health to very disorganized psychotic states."
Insanity defenses rarely succeed, Dr. James P. McGee, the recently retired director of psychology and law enforcement forensics at Sheppard Pratt Health System, told The Sun. Even Jeffrey Dahmer, the serial killer and cannibal who was convicted of murdering and dismembering 15 people, was not legally insane under Wisconsin law. McGee recalled a quote he once heard about he Dahmer case: "How many people do you have to eat in Milwaukee before they conclude you're mentally ill?"
Prior to the alleged killing, Kinyua was arrested for reportedly beating a man with a baseball bat in a dorm room on Morgan's campus. He posted bond in that case, but prosecutors say he will not face trial until the cannibalism case is resolved, The Sun reported.
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