Examination Declares Shepherd Charged with Murder of US Family To Be Sane

A psychiatric examination of 19 year-old shepherd Malkhaz Kobauri has determined him to be mentally fit to stand trial and that he has no mental health problems. Kobauri was detained on charges of murdering Ryan and Lora Smith and their 4 year old son Caleb, dual citizens of Georgia and the United States. 

The information was released by Kobauri's lawyer, Alexander Kobaidze.

“Psychologists and psychiatrists jointly evaluated his mental condition and found that this person is mentally healthy…I am sure the examination results will be released…Kobauri is an absolutely sane and balanced person,” claims Kobaidze.

Kobauri was detained by the police on July 8 on murder charges. Tbilisi City Court ordered the pre-trial detention of the man on July 11. If found guilty, Kobauri faces life in prison.

The family had lived in the town of Marneuli, south of Tbilisi, for seven years and were well respected members of the local and expat community.

As reported, forensic examination revealed that the DNA of Malkhaz Kobauri, was found on the body of Lora Smith, which raises doubts against the initial claim that she fell into the Khada Gorge ravine while fleeing her husband's murderer.

Recently released information in the Georgian media alleges Lora was drowned by the killer, and she did not fall into the Khada Gorge as was previously stated.

Kobauri initially pleaded guilty, but he has since changed his testimony twice.

By Thea Morrison

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15 August 2018 11:33