Man convicted in officer Thomas Wortham’s murder was fit to stand trial despite amnesia, expert testifies at fitness hearing
Marcus Floyd claims he cannot recall details that would have allowed him to participate in his defense due to a brain injury he suffered after being shot in the 2010 incident.
A man serving a life sentence for killing a Chicago police officer was mentally fit to stand trial in 2015, a Cook County psychologist told jurors Tuesday — despite the defendant’s claims that he doesn’t remember anything about the murder.
Marcus Floyd was shot multiple times in a shootout that left Chicago Police Officer Thomas Wortham IV dead when Floyd and three others attempted to rob the off-duty officer of his motorcycle in 2010.
Floyd went into cardiac arrest for 11 minutes and suffered brain damage, resulting in him losing all memory of what happened before and after he was shot, Floyd’s defense attorney said Tuesday in his opening statement.
Floyd, 30, claims he cannot recall details that would have allowed him to participate in his defense due to the retrograde amnesia from the brain injury.
A jury found Floyd fit to stand trial in 2015 and he was convicted at trial later that year.
An appellate court in 2019 overturned the jury’s decision in the previous fitness hearing, saying the jurors had not received the proper instructions, and gave Floyd a second chance to convince a jury he wasn’t fit to stand trial.
Dr. Erick Neu, a clinical psychologist who works for the Circuit Court of Cook County, said Floyd was able to understand and explain the role of the judge in his trial, what witnesses testified about and about the evidence that was presented when he was evaluated last year.
A review of Floyd’s medical records showed he had recovered “significantly” by the time of his trial, according to Neu. Floyd also didn’t show any signs of mental illness, cognitive impairment or continued loss of memory, Nue added.
Pressed by Floyd’s defense attorney, Neu agreed that Floyd had likely suffered memory loss from his injury, but said it was harder to determine what he was able to remember in 2015.
Neu added that his evaluation was to determine if Floyd could have understood what was happening and assist in his defense, not whether he could remember what happened on the night of the shooting.
Neu was the first and only witness who took the stand Tuesday.
Floyd’s lawyers are expected to call the first of three experts of their own on Wednesday to testify about the impact Floyd’s brain injury had on his ability to assist in his own defense.
Wortham, 30, was sitting on his Yamaha motorcycle near his parents’ home on May 19, 2010 in the 8400 block of South King when he was approached by Floyd and three other men.
Wortham’s father, a retired Chicago Police sergeant, was on the porch when he witnessed the attempted robbery and shot Floyd and his cousin, Brian Floyd, 20, who was also killed.
Two men who served as lookouts — Paris McGee and Toyious Taylor — are serving life sentences.