Jury: Tulsa courthouse suspect mentally competent

Associated Press Modified: August 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm •  Published: August 15, 2012

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A man accused of opening fire outside a Tulsa courthouse is mentally competent to stand trial, a jury found Wednesday, despite pleas from his father that his son is a paranoid schizophrenic who needs hospital treatment, not a maximum-security prison.

The six-member jury took just 15 minutes to find Andrew Dennehy, 24, mentally fit to face charges of shooting with intent to kill and firearms counts. Dennehy is accused of shooting March 7 in the plaza between the Tulsa County courthouse and the Tulsa Central Library, injuring a sheriff's deputy and a bystander. Dennehy was also hurt during the gunfire exchange.

A preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 17.

Dennehy's attorney, Allen Smallwood, argued that his client had bizarre thoughts and suffered delusions so severe that he was unable to assist in his own defense. But prosecutor Tony Evans told jurors Dennehy was bluffing.

"The state believes this was an attempt to skirt the responsibilities of what he did," Evans said outside the courtroom after the hearing. "I personally think it's an act."

Smallwood, who was not immediately available for comment, told jurors that Dennehy thought he was being followed by the Illuminati, and believed the 18th century secret society and others were conspiring to instigate war with true Christians. He also believed the Illuminati were going to kill Christians in vast caverns under Denver International Airport, Smallwood told jurors.

Retired radiologist Dan Dennehy, Andrew's father, relayed a timeline of odd behavior that has plagued his son since the age of 4.

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