Covering Louisiana

Apr 5, 2014 10:59 PM by AP

Lawyer: shooting defendant mentally impaired

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Defense lawyers say a 57-year-old Slaughter man is mentally disabled and therefore cannot be executed if he is convicted of killing two people and wounding a third at a Baton Rouge construction firm in 2009.

The Advocate reports that lawyers for Richard Matthews filed court papers Friday alleging that he has a life-long history of significant intellectual and behavioral impairment.

No trial date has been set. Matthews is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted first-degree murder. He's accused of killing 44-year-old Dianna Tullie, of Walker, and 55-year-old Cheryl Boykin, of Denham Springs, at Grady Crawford Construction Co. on Dec. 23, 2009. A third woman was wounded.

The firm had fired Matthews several months before the shootings.

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