Brice Rhodes in court

Attorney Tom Griffiths (right) reacts while client Brice Rhodes (left) accuses a judge of being a member of the KKK (WDRB photo).

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The January trial for triple-murder defendant Brice Rhodes has been delayed again after defense attorneys asked for a competency evaluation, claiming Rhodes had an "intellectual disability" that would prohibit prosecutors from seeking the death penalty.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Charles Cunningham questioned why defense attorneys hadn't made the motion in previous years, as the case has been pending since 2016 and Rhodes' actions in court have repeatedly been irrational.

Attorney Tom Griffiths, who represents Rhodes, told the judge Rhodes has "gotten worse recently" and he is saying things "that don't make sense."

He acknowledged he should have requested the evaluation sooner. 

The Jefferson Commonwealth's Attorney's office objected and noted that there is nearly a year backlog for competency evaluations at the Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center in La Grange.

That means the trial could be pushed into 2023. 

Still, Cunningham granted the request for the competency evaluation, pointing out that he didn't have much choice given the verdict could be appealed if it turned out Rhodes' IQ was below the accepted death penalty threshold.

But he ordered both sides to come back in April to see what could be done to expedite Rhodes' evaluation.

After the judge's order, the grandmother of one the two teens Rhodes is accused of killing, 14-year-old Larry Ordway and 16-year-old Maurice Gordon, stood up in court and told the judge Rhodes was "playing you all again."

Jackie Partee, Larry Ordway's grandmother, argued that Rhodes has fired several of his attorneys delaying the case, and now, just a month before trial, is asking for an evaluation that could take a year.

"How would you feel if it were your grand babies?" Partee asked Cunningham. She was also close with Gordon. 

When Rhodes smiled at her and gave her the finger, she began screaming at him and was escorted out of the court.

At the request of Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Elizabeth Jones Brown, Cunningham held Rhodes in contempt, though it is unclear what his punishment will be.

However, Cunningham said he was going to ask the jail to take Rhodes out of solitary confinement and put him back in general population, so he learns how to deal with people.

Cunningham also warned the woman that anymore outburst and she will not be allowed back in the courtroom.

Cunningham acknowledged to her that he has had a tough time dealing with Rhodes but the best solution is to ignore him. The judge has allowed Rhodes to speak out, interrupt him and prosecutors during several hearings. 

Jones Brown has grown increasingly frustrated with the judge allowing Rhodes's action and asked the he be held in contempt.

Rhodes is accused of shooting and killing Christopher Jones in May 2016.

Later that month, he allegedly killed Ordway and Gordon. Police have said the two were killed at Rhodes' home in Clifton. Their bodies were dumped in the Shawnee neighborhood and set on fire.

Rhodes allegedly killed the two brothers because he feared they would tell police about his involvement in Jones' murder.

Rhodes is being held on a $1 million full cash bond.

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