NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Lenyra Theophile, one of the four teens accused of the murder of Linda Frickey, was deemed competent to stand trial in a pre-trial hearing. 

The court initially ruled Theophile incompetent to stand trial in March, citing her mental health, and sent her to the Northlake mental health facility. There, she underwent competency education to learn the basics of court proceedings. 

The State and Theophile’s defense attorney, Gregory Carter, questioned Psychiatrist Dr. Cecilia Webb, who spoke on the latest competency evaluation. The defense asked Webb a substantial list of questions and if Theophile was educated and tested on them. 

For several of Carter’s questions, the answer was no. But Webb said the questions were not standard to the evaluation. The State later said that it was the defendant’s attorney’s responsibility to educate their client beyond the basic understanding of court proceedings. 

Judge Kimya Holmes further explained that the competency evaluation panel uses the information provided by the professionals who have assessed the defendant’s understanding of the charges, ability to assist their attorney in their defense, and whether any mental disorders or impairments may affect their competency. All of which Webb agreed Theophile is capable of. 

The State and defense questioned Theophile’s demeanor during Thursday’s evaluation compared to the initial assessment in March. Webb explained Theophile was much more agitated and unwilling to participate when initially tested. However, she was more attentive, less depressed, and less anxious during the latest evaluation. 

In her initial test, Theophile scored 55.6, but in the most recent test, she scored 84. The minimum to pass is 80. 

Despite two other doctors available for questioning, neither the State nor the defense called them up as witnesses to discuss Theophile’s mental health or the competency restoration process. 

Ultimately, Judge Holmes found Theophile competent enough to stand trial with the other three teens. Judge Holmes also granted the State’s request to limit the use of a juvenile development expert.

The trial is scheduled for March 18, 2024, pending a ruling from the Louisiana Supreme Court.

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