BRIDGEPORT — An ax murderer who ate part of his victim has been committed to a high-security psychiatric hospital for up to 60 years.
A three-judge panel in Superior Court on Monday ordered Tyree Lincoln Smith, 36, to the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital. After a three-day trial, the judges ruled July 9 that Smith is not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect.
While the judges ruled that Smith didn’t have the capacity to control his actions, they found that the state proved the elements of the murder case, court records show.
On Jan. 20, 2012, the decomposed body of Anger Gonzalez was found on the third floor of an abandoned building at 216 Brooks St. in Bridgeport. He had severe wounds to the face and head, and there was blood splattered on a nearby wall, police said.
A few days later, on Jan. 23, Smith’s cousin told police that in mid-December, her cousin had arrived at her house and told her he had “to get blood on his hands,” according to the warrant for his arrrest. He was going to Beardsley Park and his former home at 216 Brooks St., the warrant says.
Smith kept talking about Greek gods, the cousin, Nicole Rabb, told police, and called her “Athena,” police said.
At about 11 p.m. that same night, Rabb told the detectives, Smith returned to her house and banged on the door. She said she did not let him in.
The next day, Dec. 16, Smith went back to her house around 5 p.m., and Rabb said she saw that Smith had blood on his pants and his hands and on an ax he carried. Smith told his cousin he wanted to take a bath, according to the warrant.
Rabb said Smith told her he went to 216 Brooks St. and went to sleep on the second-floor porch. She said Smith told her a Hispanic man woke him up and invited him into the third floor. The man told Smith that he did not need to sleep on the porch and invited him in from the cold.
Smith told her he began to beat the man with the ax a short time later, the warrant says.
“Tyree told [Rabb] the blows to [Gonzalez’s] head were so severe that he was able to remove an eye from the man’s head along with pieces of brain matter and a piece of his skull,” the warrant says.
Smith put the items in a bag, then walked to Lakeview Cemetery, where Rabb’s brother is buried.
“At the cemetery he said he ate the eyeball, which tasted like an oyster, and the brain matter,” according to the warrant.
Rabb told detectives she called Smith’s mother about what she had seen. Smith’s mother, Cheryl Smith, told Rabb that she’d called police and urged them to check 216 Brooks St. “because her son Tyree has mental issues and is trespassing at this property and squatting on the third floor.”
U.S. marshals took Smith into custody in Lynn Haven, Fla. and he was extradited to Connecticut.
His public defender, Joseph Bruckmann, said Smith apologized in court Monday for what he did — something he wanted to do the first day of the trial.
“He’s been sufficiently medicated and he realizes — and is horrified — by what he did,” Bruckmann said.
The fact that he is medicated does not mean he close to being cured of his serious mental illness, however.
“He still can hear voices,” he said.
By Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant