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Ron Lafferty: delusional or narcisstic?

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A federal judge will rule in the future whether a man on death row is competent to help out his attorneys in their defense of his life.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - A federal judge opened the doors to convicted murderer Ron Lafferty’s competency hearing.
It’s a reversal from Thursday close door hearing. The judge offered no explanation.
Lafferty is fighting his death sentence in federal court after having exhausted his appeals in the state system.
Friday’s court hearing is to determine if Lafferty is competent to confer with his attorneys during the review.
Also present were family members of the woman Lafferty and his brother murdered. Sharon Weeks says he didn’t look incompetent to her.

“I kind of expected him to be zoned out,” says Weeks. “He looked really good. He was smiling.”

In fact during the court proceeding she observed him talking with prosecutors, to a nearby guard and on one occasion made an obscene hand gesture at a psychiatrist who was testifying on his behalf.

A psychiatrist testifying for the state says there’s nothing wrong with Lafferty.

“It's always been my opinion that Mr. Lafferty is competent," says Dr. Noel Gardner.

But professor of psychiatry at Cornell University Dr. Michael First found Lafferty to be “delusional” and suffering from a “psychotic disorder.”
Weeks believes Lafferty is play acting.

"Ron Lafferty loathes his counsel,” she says. “He referred to them as snakes.

He doesn't trust them. Therefore they think he's delusion because he does not want to assist them.”
Brenda Lafferty and her baby were murdered by Ron and his brother Dan Lafferty. Both were convicted. Dan is serving life in prison. Ron is fighting his death sentence in federal court.

“It has drug on much, much too long,” says Weeks.

But Weeks says she’s in it for the long haul and is willing to wait for Lafferty's final day on earth.

“I would like to see Ron Lafferty fulfill the sentence that was handed to him,” she says. “Yes execution.”

Judge Dee Benson took the case under advisement.
Thomas Brunker, deputy Attorney General who is representing the state says regardless of the judge’s decision the case will move forward.

“The Supreme Court has said you don’t have to be competent to stand trial,” Brunker says.

However, if Lafferty’s case is upheld Brunker says the issue of competency will be an issue again.
“The Supreme Court ruled you can’t put an incompetent man to death,” he says.
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