Alleged cannibal killer goes on trial in Connecticut

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, July 1, 2013 10:50 EDT
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A man accused of hacking another man to death with an axe and eating his flesh goes on trial in Connecticut Monday in one of the state’s most grisly murder cases in years.

The homeless Florida man, 35-year-old Tyree Smith, allegedly showed up at a relative’s doorstep Bridgeport, Connecticut last December ranting about rape, murder and a book he was writing. She demanded he leave, so Smith is said to have sought shelter at an abandoned apartment building where he spent time as a child.

That’s when he’s said to have encountered Angel L. Gonzalez. Shortly thereafter, Gonzales was dead due to an axe blow to the head, his eyeball and part of his brain removed and body left to rot. Smith then allegedly took the body parts to his brother’s nearby grave and ate them. Gonzales’s remains were not discovered for over a month.

It’s not clear if the two men knew each other before that night, but Gonzalez’s sister-in-law says they did and that the murder was premeditated. However, The Connecticut Post noted that contradicts her prior statements to police.

Police say Smith showed up at his relative’s home again the next night, this time covered in blood, ranting about the killing and asking to take a bath, according to The Hartford Courant. His relative later contacted Smith’s mother, who contact police. Smith was not arrested until late January after returning to Lynn Haven, Florida, where he was staying with a friend.

Smith’s public defender told The Connecticut Post that he plans to count on expert testimony to prove his client is insane and not a murderer, which would become much more difficult if premeditation were established.

["Stock Photo: Justice Statue With Sword And Scale. Cloudy Sky In The Background." on Shutterstock.]

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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