Tate Hearing Postponed

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Lionel Tate threatened to kill himself in a letter to a judge, causing the postponement of today's hearing that could have sent him back to prison for life.

Tate was examined over the weekend by a psychologist whose findings will be presented at a competency hearing on December 19th.

The judge received the letter Friday and decided the probation violation decision must wait for that finding.

The 18-year-old faces a possible return to prison for life if the judge finds he violated his probation. He was arrested in May on charges that he robbed a pizza delivery man.

Tate was once the youngest person in modern U-S history sentenced to life in prison. At the age of 12, he killed a 6-year-old family friend his mother was baby-sitting in 1999.

He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in 2001. An appeals court tossed out the conviction in 2004 after finding that it wasn't clear whether Tate understood what was happening to him. He pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to time served and ten years' probation.

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