MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) A man charged with killing his neighbor was back in a Mobile courtroom Tuesday. Deputies say after the killing, the suspect, Michael Crocker, cut out part of his own tongue to try and cover up the crime.
Crocker's held her tongue Tuesday, as she walked out of court.
"I said no comment!"
Donna Crocker had just watched a judge set a trial date for Michael Crocker. Crocker is charged with killing his next door neighbor, Steven Perret in Citronelle back in 2007.
Perret was found dead in Crocker's truck. But what made this case so bizarre, was what happened next.
Crocker showed up at a local hospital with part of his tongue cut off. He told Mobile sheriff's deputies the killers did it as a warning to keep his mouth shut. But chief investigator Paul Burch has his own version of the story.
"Well, he brutally murdered his coworker who was also his next door neighbor and friend, supposedly," said Burch, "and injured himself to try to cover up or throw law enforcement off his trail."
At Tuesday's arraignment, the judge told Crocker he'd see him back in court April 25 for depositions and again October 21 for his murder trial.
Crocker was then led away by deputies, leaving his attorney to do the talking for him.
They've got the wrong guy, said Skip Brutkiewicz.
"Oh, I couldn't tell you what we talked about but we are going to mount a rigorous defense and I feel good about this case and we look forward to going to court," he said.
Brutkiewicz said his client is in good health. But could there be a defense based on mental defect?
"I can't comment on that right now," he said.
Detective Burch is holding his tongue about the evidence collected, including a razor knife found shortly after the killing.
But as for Crocker? Burch said this case is a first.
"No, I can say I've never seen anyone cut their tongue out or a part of their tongue."