Youngest of Frickey’s accused killers deemed competent to stand trial

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 11:31 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 5:34 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Days after one of four teens accused of carjacking and killing Linda Frickey was deemed incompetent to stand trial, a competency hearing for Mar’Qel Curtis ended in a different result.

Orleans Parish Criminal District Judge Kimya Holmes on Thursday (March 23) deemed 15-year-old Curtis competent to stand trial after hearing testimony from a court-appointed forensic psychologist. The doctor testified that Curtis did not display any signs of a mental illness or deficiency that would prevent her from moving forward.

Judge Holmes also denied the defense’s attempt to get a continuance for the trial, stating they have not been able to independently test the DNA. Holmes ruled the trial will go on without the DNA evidence.

On Monday, Curtis’ co-defendant Lenyra Theophile was deemed incompetent. A doctor testified the 16-year-old would be unable to participate in her own defense without additional mental health care. She was ordered to be transferred to a psychiatric facility in Mandeville for treatment. Another competency hearing is scheduled for May 19.

Curtis and her co-defendants, 18-year-old John Honore and 16-year-old Briniyah Baker, remain scheduled to be tried as adults for second-degree murder starting April 3.

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The four defendants have pleaded not guilty to the murder of Frickey, who died one year ago Tuesday.

Frickey, 72, was carjacked by four people who attacked her as she sat in her car near North Scott and Bienville streets around 1:30 p.m. on March 21, 2022.

Frickey’s arm became entangled in her seat belt as she was pushed out of the driver’s seat and she was dragged down Bienville until her arm was severed and she bled to death on the street.

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