Toby Ray Lasure accused of killing ex-boyfriend Christopher Tolliver ruled fit to stand trialJun 24th, 2010 | By Julie Fite, Contributor | Category: Around the Commonwealth, Kentucky Guardian News, Lead Story
Toby Ray Lasure, 33, the man accused of killing ex-boyfriend Christopher Tolliver, 31, in the parking lot of the Lexington Green Shopping Center last year was ruled competent to stand trial by Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell on Wednesday.
Lasure is accused of killing Tolliver on March 05, 2009. After shooting Tolliver, Lasure led police on a high-speed chase that ended on North Locust Hill Drive and Man o’ War Boulevard.
He is charged with murder, wanton endangerment, leaving the scene of an accident and fleeing police.
Superstar William Shatner was also at the shopping center when the incident happened. The Twlight Zone, Star Trek, T. J. Hooker, The Practice, Boston Legal and priceline.com spokesman said he didn’t witness anything, other than police securing him and not allowing him to return to his car.
Two psychologists agreed Lasure either understood or had the ability to learn about the court system and the charges against him.
Steven Free, a psychologist at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, said he was part of observation and interviews with Lasure to test his competency to stand trial. He said Lasure was of at least average intelligence and seemed capable of learning what he did not already know about the court system.
Free said Lasure would not speak about the shooting in his interviews. Free said he inferred that Lasure understood the charges although he wouldn’t discuss them or the potential consequences of his actions out loud.
Peter Schilling, a psychologist practicing in Lexington, agreed with Free’s assessment. Schilling said Lasure was articulate and able to communicate with his attorney to aid in his own defense.
Schilling said Lasure was initially isolated in prison because his sexual orientation put him in danger of being hurt by other inmates. Schilling said this isolation might have taken a toll on Lasure’s mental health, but Lasure is now in a prison unit where he has more freedom and communication with others.
People in Eastern Kentucky remember Christopher Tolliver as a talented and gifted young man, even from his early days at Cawood High School in Harlan County.
“Yes, I believe he knew what he was about to do,” said Tolliver’s mother, Lillian Frederick. She says her son and Lasure had been in an on-again off-again relationship, one Tolliver wanted to end for good.
“My brother, told me just two days before the shooting, he was planning on breaking up with Toby,” Joy Middleton said. She told WKYT-TV, her brother was scared to break up with Lasure because he was afraid of what he might do to him. “Chris thought he would be safe if he told Toby in a public place where a lot of people were around.”