A southern Indiana man charged with killing a woman whose decapitated, mutilated body was found inside her burning apartment will be evaluated by psychiatrists to determine whether he has an intellectual disability.
A Clark County judge issued an order Wednesday calling for two psychiatrists to be appointed to assess Brian Williams and report their findings back to the court.
Williams’ public defender Bryan Abell had filed a motion Aug. 1 asking for the Clarksville man to be examined to determine, among other things, whether he has a “significantly subaverage level of functioning,” the News and Tribune reported.
Williams, 36, is charged with murder and arson in the death of 67-year-old Melody Gambetty, whose body was found by firefighters responding to a fire in her Clarksville apartment on July 26, the day after police say she was killed.
Gambetty had been decapitated and other body parts had been removed. Those body parts were later found in a suitcase at Williams’ home, police said.
Investigators believe Williams returned to Gambetty’s apartment a day after her death and started a fire to cover up evidence.
The state has not decided whether it will seek the death penalty in the case, but Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull said after Williams’ July 28 initial hearing that the death penalty was being considered.
Under Indiana law, a defendant can file a petition alleging an intellectual disability in a death penalty case, which calls for these conditions to be determined, and whether they existed before the defendant was 22.
At Williams’ initial hearing, a judge entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. He is being held without bond at the Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville, which is located along the Ohio River just north of Louisville, Kentucky.