A man is set to undergo mental health testing to determine if he’ll be allowed to plead insanity after allegedly killing his 5-year-old son and burying him in a DeKalb County backyard.
Judge Gail Flake signed an order Monday clearing the way for an evaluation to determine if Montrais Boyd Sr., 26, was suffering from mental health issues when prosecutors say he killed the child. Police have said Boyd, who is charged with murder, killed Montrais Boyd Jr. at a home outside Lithonia on Feb. 21 by beating him with a shovel and cutting his throat.
Attorneys for Boyd have in recent months suggested mental health problems may have prevented him from distinguishing right from wrong. They declined to elaborate when asked about Flake’s decision by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday.
The suspect’s aunt, however, said shortly after the killing that his mental state had been deteriorating and he had been diagnosed as schizophrenic. She told Channel 2 Action News he should’ve remained in jail in 2017 after he was accused in Arizona of driving naked with a small child and then ramming a police patrol car.
“I feel like he was crying for help and he didn’t get the help that he needed,” Tomicka Brown said. “He still hears God talking to him.”
The child lived at a home on Rocky Pine Drive outside Lithonia with his grandmother, who couldn’t be reached for comment this week. His parents, who lived in California, arrived for an unannounced visit on Feb. 21.
The grandmother and child’s mother left the house, leaving the father with the 5-year-old and three other kids, police have said.
When they came home, the kids told the mom what happened and she went out to the backyard and dug up her son’s body.
If Boyd ends up pleading insanity, the judge would determine what happens next. Traditionally in such cases in Georgia, the defendant is institutionalized.
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