Paul Reid's Mental Competency Questioned At Appeals Hearing - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

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Paul Reid's Mental Competency Questioned At Appeals Hearing

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By Jennifer Kraus
Investigative Reporter

He was sentenced to death after killing seven people in a string of fast-food murders 14 years ago. But on Friday, attorneys for Paul Reid tried to convince an appeals court that the convicted serial killer is not competent enough to be executed.

Reid's case was before the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Friday morning. His lawyers pointed to videotaped interviews between Reid and two court-appointed doctors.

"The fundamental question is Mr. Reid's competency to make a decision," said Brad MacLean, Reid's post conviction defender.

They said it is proof that he is irrational, and cannot pursue his own appeals and his life should be spared.

"He believes the government was monitoring him, both through audio and video recordings," said Kelly Gleason, another one of Reid's post conviction defenders.

Still, lawyers for the state and his victims' families said it's time for him to face his punishment.

Attorneys for the state said it doesn't matter because the state Supreme Court has already found Reid to be mentally competent.

"Whether he believes the delusions, doesn't believe the delusions is really beside the point," said Jennifer Smith with the Tennessee Attorney General's Office.

The problem is that Reid has been declared incompetent in federal court, based on a slightly different standard that requires the inmate to be found to be irrational.

But according to the state, Reid chooses when he wants to be rational.

"He makes many choices, many rational choices throughout the day about rising early, what to eat, what type of food to eat, how to use his recreation time," Smith added.

Connie Black sat in the courtroom with the other victims' families, many of whom are ready for these appeals to be over and Reid put to death.  Reid killed Black's daughter Michelle Mace at the Baskin Robbins in Clarksville.

"Obviously he's not rational. He murdered people," said Black.

Black said she found Reid complaining about his life in videos with his doctor unbelievable.

"He made those choices. When the victims, the choices were made by him. So, no, I don't feel sad for him. That's for sure," Black said.

Black said she finds comfort knowing that Reid will eventually have to answer for what he's done.

A ruling will likely come in the next couple of months.

E-mail: jkraus@newschannel5.com

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