"MAD" AS A HATTER, OR "CRAZY LIKE A FOX?"
AIR FORCE ACADEMY GRAD'S "MIND TURNED TO
MUSH" CLAIMS DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR CAPT
JOHN PERRYS - LOCKED UP IN JAIL SINCE APRIL
2005 WITHOUT A TRIAL - TWO COURT-APPOINTED
SHRINKS SAY FORMER B-52 PILOT AT BARKSDALE
"COMPETENT" TO PARTICIPATE IN PROCEEDINGS
OFFICER OBSESSED ON EX-GALPAL - FACES LIFE
IMPRISONMENT IF CONVICTED OF "AGGRAVATED
BATTERY WITH DEADLY WEAPON" CHARGES
The defense attorney for former Air Force Capt. John Perrys says the ex-B-52 bomber pilot at Barksdale AFB La. is practically drooling on himself. "His mind's turned to mush," complained barrister Nelson Rodriguez-Velera, as he argued that his client "isn't competent to participate in his own defense."
Court officials in Bay County, Florida disagreed, and ordered two shrinks to examine the 33 year-old Air Force Academy graduate. They came back with a finding that Perrys would be just fine, as long as he got his meds on time.
In one of the most bizarre cases we've seen yet, Perrys has languished in various county jails in Florida for four and a half years without benefit of trial. Some would say this is a clear-cut violation of the officer's Constitutional right to a "timely" and speedy trial.
Prosecutors blame Perrys for the delays, but attorney Rodriguez-Velera made a good point when he said the "long lock-up" and "shuffling between jails" in Gulf and Bay County (where Perrys claims his defense papers were "ransacked"), has sent the former "fast-burner" Air Force officer "over the edge."
A judge in Panama City, Florida - a locale famed for more "trophy wives" and hot babes than anyplace else on the Emerald Coast - has yet to set a date for trial.
CHARGES COULD SEND PERRYS TO PRISON FOR LIFE
The charges are very serious indeed:
Armed burglary of a dwelling; aggravated battery with a deadly weapon; and criminal mischief. (Perrys allegedly cut the brake lines to Lister's car before entering her step-dad's abode.) All together, the charges could bring the former bomber pilot life imprisonment.
Investigators say Perrys was obsessed over an ex-girlfriend, who happens to be the step-daughter of local (St. Joe, Fla.) Judge Fred Witton.
Court papers show that Perrys put on a disguise and broke into the judge's home where he allegedly attacked Caroline Lister with a stun gun and collapsible baton as she was taking a shower.
The naked damsel managed to get away from her hooded, one-time lover, and ran to a neighbor's house, screaming for help. He grabbed his shotgun and managed to copy down the license plate of a car speeding away from the scene.
WORE BULLET-PROOF VEST WHEN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY
Capt. Perrys was arrested at the main gate to Tyndall AFB in Florida, where he was assigned on temporary duty. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest and had a shovel and parachute cord in his car when he was taken into custody.
Lister, who told cops Perrys had been stalking her since they broke up, was able to describe his attire: blue jogging pants with white stripes, a camouflage shirt, and white tennis shoes.
What caused John Perrys to throw away a service academy degree and promising military career? The high-achiever couldn't handle rejection from a beautiful woman. Now, no matter how the case turns out, he will have the rest of his life to "think it over."