Father that headbutted baby to death to receive mental evaluation

Father that headbutted baby to death to receive mental evaluation

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - There are new details in a case where a Laurel man has been charged with the murder of his child.

Rashad Crosby, 24, who is accused of headbutting his six-month-old baby to death, has had prior run-ins with the law.

He received a mental evaluation on Dec. 28, 2010. Some of the results were quite disturbing.

According to the mental evaluation from W. Criss Lott, Ph.D. of Clinical Forensic Psychology, the following statement was released:

"When asked about antisocial behaviors prior to the age of 18, he said that he had gotten into numerous fights, threatened others with weapons and said that he had been cruel to animals. He laughed and said that he would shoot horses and kill dogs. He said that he would strangle chickens 'to get a thrill out of it, I killed my neighbor's cats.'"

Despite, the results of the evaluation Crosby was considered competent to stand trial for an aggravated assault charge.

According to Jones County District Attorney Anthony Buckley, Crosby will receive another mental evaluation.

"Crosby will get a new psych evaluation because this headbutting case potentially seeks the death penalty," Buckley said.

Hattiesburg Attorney Alexander Ignatiev said there are two stages of mental evaluation that occur in a death penalty case.

The first is to determine whether someone is competent enough to stand trial.

"That can be requested by the defense council or by the prosecution," Ignatiev said.

"If it's requested they have a constitutional right to be evaluated."

The second is more complex.

"The Supreme Court prohibits the execution of anyone who is mentally unsound do either to mental  illness, brain damage, mental retardation, or disability," Ignatiev said.

According to Mississippi state law, a person must understand the nature of their crime and the nature of the penalty.

"And if they don't understand both of those things and they don't understand why the state has determined they should die, then the Supreme Court says they cannot be executed," Ignatiev said.

Ignatiev also said that someone can be considered competent to stand trial, but not mentally capable to be executed when it is time for the execution because a person's mind can change over time.

The complexity of the case of a defendant determines the longevity of a mental evaluation.

Crosby was denied bond because this is a capital offense.