Judge finds man who allegedly blamed Longview murder on God incompetent for trial

Judge finds man who allegedly blamed Longview murder on God incompetent for trial
(Source: Gregg County Jail)

LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) - A Gregg County district judge has ruled a DeSoto man who reportedly said God told him to commit a murder incompetent to stand trial.

Judge Alfonso Charles made the decision following a hearing on Monday. Rodrick Deshun Arkeith Elliott, 20, will now be sent to a state hospital to regain competency.

Elliott was arrested in May for the murder of Sandy Smith, 51, of Longview. According to an arrest affidavit, Smith was found by her mother with several stab wounds and later died at a Longview hospital.

The affidavit also states that the mother told police an incident had occurred the previous day. A black male had walked up to Smith’s door and asked her for a light. The mother believed the man had been wandering the area and talking to people in the neighborhood.

Detectives continued their investigation and spoke to several people standing outside the Hiway 80 Mission, on Marshall Ave. They confirmed with detectives that they had observed the man speaking to residents in the area. One resident at the Mission told a detective that he needed to speak with the staff at the Mission about a person who stays in Bunk 3, according to the affidavit.

That person was identified by staff as Elliott. According to the affidavit, the witness told the detective he had overheard Elliott talking to someone on the phone. He reportedly asked the person on the other end of the line, “Would you still love me if I killed someone?” The resident admitted he couldn’t see the man’s face or any features.

Another resident at the Hiway 80 Mission told detectives he believed Elliott had a girlfriend that lived in Gladewater, according to the affidavit. Detectives were able to get an address and went to speak with Elliott’s girlfriend. A friend of the girlfriend answered at the residence and told detectives they had seen Elliott two hours prior at Bumblebee Park in Gladewater wearing all black clothing. According to the affidavit, the friend also told detectives that Elliot had made comments about killing someone to his girlfriend. Elliott’s girlfriend did not make any claims against Elliott’s statements at that time.

Detectives found Elliott a short time later at the park playing basketball. According to the affidavit, Elliott agreed to go to the Gladewater Police Department to answer some questions. The warrant stated that during questioning, detectives observed a cut or scratch on one of Elliott’s fingers and what appeared to be blood on the flap of one of his shoes, as well as an abrasion on one of his knuckles.

After becoming agitated with answering questions, Elliott asked to leave the station, as he was not under arrest at that time, according to the affidavit. As he was walking outside of the police station, Elliot passed a Sgt. investigating the case, who was on the phone with Elliott’s girlfriend. The affidavit stated that Elliott got near the detective, and the detective asked the woman over the phone if Elliott had killed somebody, to which she replied, “yes.”

Elliott was detained right there outside the police department.

The warrant reads that Elliott's girlfriend later told detectives, in a conversation which was digitally recorded, that Elliott had been acting strange and saying "God told him he needed to kill somebody and it was the only way he was going to get his blessings."

According to the affidavit, she told detectives that Elliott came to her house and told her he had killed someone. She said she didn’t believe him so he showed her a picture. She described the picture and told them what the woman was wearing and other details which linked back to Smith. She said Elliott told her he was talking to the woman outside and they had words after he asked Smith if he was bothering her. Smith went into the house saying she was going to call the police. Elliott followed her inside, hit her and then grabbed a knife and stabbed her, according to Elliott’s girlfriend. She said Elliott then demonstrated to her how he did it in a slicing motion, according to the warrant.

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