A 21-year-old Montezuma County man charged with murdering his father and decapitating and dismembering the body will be in court in April for a status conference.
Jeremiah R. Berry appeared in 22nd Judicial District Court for a three-minute status conference regarding his second psychiatric evaluation before Judge Douglas Walker on Thursday. Family members of Berry, along with his attorney, public defender Chris Trimble, and Keith Mandelski, chief deputy district attorney, also were present.
In July 2008, Berry pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity after being charged with second-degree murder. He is accused of killing his father, Jack Berry, who was 42.
Jeremiah Berry told Montezuma County Sheriff's Office detectives he shot his father in the back of the head after he was raped by the man, then decapitated and dismembered the body, and fed flesh to coyotes, according to court documents from the case.
In January, Walker ordered a second competency evaluation for Berry.
The initial finding from a psychiatric review of Berry by the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo determined in December 2008 that he was sane and competent enough to stand trial.
It was stated in court that Berry's second evaluation did take place, but the results were not available in time for Thursday's hearing.
Walker rescheduled his status conference for 1:30 p.m. April 9 in district court.
Berry told police he killed his father in a canyon south of the Dog Hotel, a dog kennel located at 33350 Colorado Highway 184, on or about Feb. 19, 2008.
According to previous court testimony, county detectives have found body parts, including a skull, hands and feet, thought to be those of Jack Berry, in buckets of hardened cement in a storage room at the kennel.
If found guilty by a jury, punishment for second-degree murder ranges from eight to 24 years in prison. With aggravating circumstances, a penalty can reach 48 years.
A monetary penalty ranging from $5,000 to $1 million also can be administered.
Berry is being held at the Montezuma County Detention Center on $500,000 bond.