Attorneys clash over expert testimony on juvenile brain development in latest Frickey hearing

Published: May. 19, 2023 at 4:44 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Four teenagers accused in the brutal carjacking death of Linda Frickey returned to court on Friday, May 19.

The case has garnered national attention, drawing attorneys and family members from both sides to pack the courtroom for a pre-trial conference.

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.

“I just think that the horrible nature of it really opened a lot of eyes across the country,” said Frickey’s sister-in-law, Kathy Richard.

The four teenagers, John Honore, Briniyah Baker, Mar’quel Curtis and Lenyra Theophile, are facing charges as adults for their alleged involvement in the fatal carjacking.

“They had the audacity to beat her, and then he pulls away, she’s hooked to the car,” said Frickey’s sister, Jinny Lynn Griffin.


In court, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office filed a motion to exclude expert testimony regarding the mental state of the juvenile defendants.

Prosecutors argued that since the suspects have already pleaded not guilty, they should not be allowed to present an insanity defense.

Defense attorneys argued they want experts to testify about the relationship between juvenile brain development and criminal behavior.

“It didn’t just develop that day,” Richard said. “There was no record of them being mentally deficient prior.”

“People were running to the car, telling them to stop - you’re dragging someone,” Griffin said. “The door was open. He knew she was hooked on that car.”

Theophile, who was deemed incompetent to stand trial, remains in a mental facility. The judge on Friday said the hospital has requested she be transferred back to the Juvenile Justice Intervention Center (JJIC). A doctor is expected to reevaluate her next week.

Next Thursday, Theophile will have a competency hearing and could end up standing trial with her co-defendants.

Trial is set for March of next year.

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