Gregory Bush in court.jpg

Gregory Bush Sr. in court.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A psychiatrist testified Friday that Gregory Bush, the man accused of shooting and killing two people at a Louisville Kroger in October 2018, is now competent to stand trial on charges of murder.

Dr. Timothy Allen said that, with medication, Bush now understands the charges and allegations against him as well as the possible consequences he faces, and he has the ability to participate in his own defense.

For example, part of the evidence in the case includes Bush allegedly telling a white man in the Kroger parking lot that "white people don’t shoot white people" and "he realized that sounded bad and would be received poorly and work against him," Allen said.

Both of the people Bush is accused of killing, Maurice Stallard and Vickie Jones, were Black. He is white. 

"I’d recommend he be found" competent, Allen testified in Jefferson Circuit Court. 

Allen's testimony Friday was a reversal from 2019, when he testified that Bush was fighting with other inmates for no reason, refusing to take his medication, believed people were out to get him and was, at that point, not competent to stand trial. Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Annie O’Connell followed Allen’s recommendation and ruled Bush was not competent to stand trial.

At the time, however, Allen said Bush could eventually be found competent with the proper medication. 

Now, Allen testified, Bush has greatly improved since taking and staying on the right medication, a claim even his defense attorney, Angela Elleman, acknowledged.

Additionally, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Milja Zgonjanin argued that, although Bush may not have been fit to stand trial previously, competency can change over time "and what matter is his competency now."

However, Elleman argued that Bush does still hear voices and it’s unknown if he can fully participate in his trial.

Ultimately, O’Connell will decide. The judge said she would issue a ruling soon.  

Louisville Metro Police arrested Bush after he allegedly gunned down Jones and Stallard at the Jeffersontown Kroger. Records show he has a history of mental illness and making racist threats.

Bush faces two separate cases: murder charges in state court and hate crimes at the federal level. If convicted, he could be put to death.

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Digital Reporter

Jason Riley is a criminal justice reporter for WDRB.com. He joined WDRB News in 2013 after 14 years with The Courier-Journal. He graduated from Western Kentucky University. Jason can be reached at 502-585-0823 and jriley@wdrb.com.