03/20/07 — Experts will eye Legg's fitness

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Experts will eye Legg's fitness

By Lee Williams
Published in News on March 20, 2007 1:56 PM

The trial of a former hospital administrator turned drifter accused of killing a store owner's son-in-law during a robbery in May 2003 in Seven Springs has been delayed until the court decides if he is mentally fit to stand trial.

The case of Roy George Legg, 58, charged in the murder of Ricky Thompson and the attempted murder of the victim's spouse, Teresa Thompson, was slated to begin Monday.

However, Legg's defense attorney, Glenn Barfield, asked the court to postpone the trial because Legg, a former human resources director at Wilson Medical Center, was mentally unfit to stand trial.

"His competency may be a factor," Barfield said. "He has multiple personality disorder."

Legg, who was wheelchair-bound, sat quietly at the defense table while Barfield made his plea.

Barfield characterized Legg as a "recluse who was living in a tent," at the time of his arrest.

Barfield also told the court he had a conflict of interest and questioned whether he could continue to represent Legg.

Wayne County Assistant District Attorney Matt Delbridge did not object to postponing the trial, but said the issue of mental competence had never been raised before.

Delbridge said Barfield told the court he planned to rely on the insanity defense in the case and that's what he built his case on.

Barfield said Monday he no longer planned to rely on the insanity defense, but planned to show mental illness, diminished capacity and accident played a bearing on the case. He added he was abandoning the theory Legg also acted in self-defense at the time of the murder.

Wayne County Superior Court Judge Gregory Weeks agreed to postpone the trial.

"No one wants to have to go through this again, so we want to go ahead and explore all issues," Weeks said.

Weeks apologized to the witnesses and family members for the delay.

Legg faces a slew of charges in connection with the May 24, 2003, incident including armed robbery, preparation to commit burglary, breaking and entering, larceny and possession of stolen goods.

The state asked the judge to dismiss the charges of attempted murder and preparation to commit burglary against Legg.

The charges stem from allegations Legg broke into Ralph Casey's Grocery and Auto Parts store on N.C. 55 about 3:30 a.m.

Wielding a 9 mm handgun, Legg allegedly stole food, candy, soda, batteries and cigarettes from the store. But he was caught before he could leave the store in his gray 1985 Cadillac Fleetwood that was parked down the street.

Armed with a handgun, Thompson entered the store, confronted Legg and a shootout ensued. Both were shot multiple times, but Thompson's injuries were fatal. He died at the scene.

Mrs. Teresa Thompson, her adult daughter, Nita Thompson, and other relatives arrived to detain the suspect, but Legg continued to put up a fight.

As he ran away, Legg allegedly tried to shoot at Mrs. Thompson and Nita Thompson, who were outside the store.

Mrs. Thompson then drove a car through a wooden fence and knocked down Legg. They detained him until deputies arrived.

They later found Thompson's body.

Thompson was a former volunteer fireman and mechanic for Seven Springs Fire Department. He was also the father of Randy Thompson, a Wayne County sheriff's deputy who is assigned to the K-9 Division.