1 06-15-88 01:22 aed utah Alleged Mormon Temple hostage taker wants dead prophets to test

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1 06-15-88 01:22 aed utah Alleged Mormon Temple hostage taker wants dead prophets to testify ROCKVILLE, Md. (UPI) _ A man accused of seizing hostages at the Mormon Temple in 1986 is mentally competent to stand trial even though he wants numerous dead prophets of the cult to testify in his defense, a Montgomery County judge has ruled. Circuit Judge Peter Messitte, whose ruling Tuesday on Clarence Leake's competency cleared the way for jury selection to begin immediately, said, "Let us be clear on this matter, there is a mental disorder. "(But) does that render the defendant incompetent to stand trial? It is clear to the court that the defendant does understand what is going on." Leake, 30, of Harrisonburg, is charged with two counts of kidnapping and two counts of assault and possession of a handgun. He has pleaded innocent by reason of insanity. He was arrested without incident Oct. 23, 1986, after two men were held hostage overnight in the majestic temple in Kensington that towers over the Capital Beltway in suburban Washington, D.C. Dr. Neal Blumberg testified Monday that Leake has shown "unusual signs of mental delusional disorder," which would hinder his efforts to assist in his own defense. Blumberg said Leake believes he has "conversations with God." Leake's father, Donald Leake, also of Harrisonburg, said Tuesday outside the courtroom that the Mormon Church is a "satanic cult." "I've seen the change in him right after he was baptized in the Mormon Church (10 years ago)," his father said. "He says there are spirits in the temple. After he was baptized that's when he said he began to hear voices." The defendant had his defense subpeona 14 witnesses, all of whom are dead prophets of the Mormon Church. In response to the subpeona, Messitte said, "When one gets into the realm of religious belief, especially in court, one treads very carefully." "There is to some, perhaps, an element of fantasy," the judge went on to say. "I came to the conculsion that the defendant is competent." Messitte then read four passages of Mormon scripture that dealt with the Mormon belief of dead spirits coming back, which the judge used to illustrate the reason for his decision. One of Leake's attorneys, Carol Freeman, said, "Mr. Leake does feel very strongly that these witnesses will appear. All the doctors that have examined Mr. Leake have determined that he is suffering from a delusional disorder." Prosecutors allege that Leake became angry before the hostage incident when he tried to enter the temple, but was told his pass had been revoked by cult authorities. Leake has been free on $50,000 bond.


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