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Man Charged In Neighbor’s Beheading To Stand Trial

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Leo Kwaske (Booking Photo)

Leo Kwaske (Booking Photo)

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JACKSON (WWJ/AP) - A Michigan man accused in the beheading of his 59-year-old neighbor will stand trial in her murder.

After a preliminary examination for 47-year-old Leo Kwaske was waived Friday, the case is moving on to the Jackson County Circuit Court.

Kwaske was charged last year with felony murder, mutilation of a dead body and first-degree home invasion in the death of  Shirley Meeks.

Investigators believe Kwaske used a hammer to behead Meeks, who lived above him in the Reed Manor Apartments in Jackson. Her body was found Oct. 15 in her apartment. Her head also was found, although police haven’t said where.

Doctors have determined Kwaske — who has a history of mental illness — is competent to stand trial, but was insane at the time Meeks was killed.

According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, prosecutors expect the judge to find Kwaske not guilty by reason of insanity and involuntarily commit him to a mental institution for continued supervision, treatment and evaluation.

Chief Assistant Prosecutor Mark Blumer told the Jackson Citizen Patriot Kwaske is on medication and while he can comprehend what is happening now, he doesn’t understand what he did in October.

Court documents show that Kwaske apparently believed Meeks was involved with a demon and thought he was protecting himself and the rest of society. He reportedly said he believed Meeks would have killed him with her thoughts.

TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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