The pretrial hearing for a man charged in the August stabbing murder of a LaGrange man has been delayed so his attorney can study the defendant’s medical records.
Coranzo Sterling, 34, of Coldwater Creek, is charged with stabbing and killing Tony Gilliam, 29 of Hamilton Road, allegedly over a $10 debt.
Sterling’s pretrial hearing was scheduled for Tuesday morning, but after Sterling’s attorney asked for more time to examine his medical records. Judge Allen Keeble, filling in for Judge John Simpson, extended the motion hearing.
Defense attorney Stacey Jackson said that the amount of time from Sterling’s arraignment in August until now had not allowed enough time to look at all of Sterling’s prior medical records, but he has found records that could help his case.
“Based on my investigation of his medical history, I felt the need to file the motion for a psychological evaluation.” said Jackson.
Jackson said that the extension will allow time to call some doctors as witnesses and will give prosecuting attorney Steven Lee time to call expert witnesses as well.
At the pretrial hearing, now scheduled for March 26 at 1:30 p.m., he said that the judge will be able to decide if evidence shows that Sterling is in need of a psychological evaluation or deny it.
The psychological evaluation will determine if Sterling is competent to stand trial, if not then he must be committed to a state mental health facility. The evaluation must also show that Sterling was not competent at the time of the murder.
If the judge does not grant the evaluation, the defense has the option to appeal the decision or to proceed with the case.
Witnesses said that the men were arguing in the 100 block of Belk Street over $10 that Gilliam allegedly owed Sterling. The witnesses said Sterling grabbed a large knife and stabbed Gilliam multiple times in the chest. Police recovered a Winchester knife with a wooden handle and blade more than 12 inches long in 100 block of Gallant Street, about 140 feet from the house where the stabbing occurred.