Norman Murder Accomplice's Testimony In Question After Alleged Hallucinations

Wednesday, August 15th 2012, 6:33 pm
By: News 9

An accused killer allegedly hallucinated as he testified against his partner in crime on Tuesday.

Brandon Reed told the court he sees dead people, including the murder victim.

In July, News 9 asked Reed if he was remorseful for what happened. He replied that he was. Just moments after he said he had had conversation with 80-year-old Clair Pollard, the man Reed is accused of killing.

Reed also testified he has an alter ego named, "Max". A judge immediately ordered a mental health evaluation.

7/12/12 Related Story: Judge Orders Mental Health Evaluation For Accomplice In Norman Murder

"People will try lots of different strategies to avoid prosecution and this simply may be one of those," said criminologist Dr. Howard Kurtz, referring to Reed's testimony. 

Reed agreed to testify against his accomplice, Billy Battenfield, or a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole. During the preliminary hearing for Battenfield, a three time convicted killer, Reed began to hallucinate.

Kurtz says it's a "question of credibility and competence". But following a mental evaluation, the judge determined Reed is mentally competent to stand trial for murder.

Although, the details of the evaluation are not public record, Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said Reed is expected to take the stand again to finish his testimony.  

11/28/11 Related Story: Law Questioned After Convicted Killer Arrested In Norman Murder

Kurtz says it could hurt the state's case against Battenfield, but it will not be impossible for prosecutors to present Reed as a credible witness.

"Obviously the defense attorneys are going to try to show that he may not be presenting the facts as he should and the prosecutors will have to show he is competent even if not completely competent," Kurtz said.

Mashburn says at this point, Reed's deal with the state is still on the table because there is no evidence to suggest he lied on the stand about what happened during the murder or his hallucinations.

Reed's attorney, Irvin Box, did not return News 9's calls in time for this story to air.

Battenfield's preliminary hearing is set to continue on September 5.

11/23/11 Related Story: Two Arrested In Death Of Norman Elderly Man