Fit to Stand Trial

Testimony continued Thursday in the trial of a Tallahassee transient accused of beating another man to death. Robert Thornton was arrested shortly after the victim's body was found in their encampment back in May 2000

The morning started with a judge trying to decide whether the defendant, Robert Thornton, is capable of understanding what's going on. For about 10 days in November, Robert Thornton didn't get his anti-psychotic medication from the Leon County jail.

A psychiatrist says he's still fit to stand trial.

"When I saw Mr. Thornton last night, I did not think it had again caused him to deteriorate in to a psychotic condition."

"Do you recognize what's in front of you?"

"Yes, those are the pants that I collected at the police department from Mr. Thornton."

The state's evidence includes clothes worn by Thornton the night he was arrested in May 2000. Investigators found those clothes spattered with blood.

"The bottom part of the legs on the pants, on the clothing, the upper part of the shirt area and across the front and the bottom, and also on the boots."

And a crime lab expert in DNA testified some of that blood on Thornton's clothing matches the victim's DNA with a 1 in 20 quadrillion certainty.

"The cutting from the area that was stained the red brown stain matches the victim's blood, Benjamin Baldwin."

The state rested its case early Thursday afternoon, but the judge agreed to a defense request to wait until Friday for Thornton to decide whether he'll testify.


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