BEAUMONT - by Kalie Desimone - A man who killed his parents at the breakfast table must remain in a state mental hospital for at least one more year.
It took a jury in Judge John Stevens' court only ten minutes to decide that the community could be at risk if Andrew Weller rejoined society.
In April of 1986, Weller was charged with capital murder in the shooting deaths of his father, 74-year-old George A. Weller, a prominent attorney, and his 69-year-old wife, Eleanor.
Andrew Weller was 38 years old at the time of the Beaumont shooting deaths of his parents. He's now 63.
By law every year a hearing is held to determine if Weller should remain at Rusk State Hospital or whether he can be safely released into society.
On April 25, 1986, Weller's parents were sitting down eating breakfast at their home on East Drive in Beaumont.
Testimony from Wellers's original trial showed he thought his parents were injecting him with some type of substance while he slept, and he thought his parents had become aliens. He used a shotgun to kill them at the breakfast table.
A psychiatrist testified Tuesday and said Weller has made progress in dealing with his mental illness. He's diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.
But the doctor told the court that Weller isn't yet ready to be released into the community.
"There's potential if a person is untreated they can lapse back into the state of psychosis, not knowing the bounds of reality, and if they have certain delusions or other feelings of paranoia, they may act against someone," said psychiatrist Dr. Edward Gripon. "They may hurt somebody."
Weller's attorney, Steve Johnson, says he was surprised by the jury's quick decision.
He believes the state's mental health code is sometimes misunderstood by lawyers and juries that must decide whether someone like Weller can be safely released.
The jury had several possible questions to answer. The first: is Weller mentally ill? The jury said yes, meaning the jury didn't have to look at whether he would be harmful to himself, to others, and whether he could function in society if he took his medicine.
"I think it is difficult to look at the burden of proof and combine that with extra findings and come up with a simple yes or no to a question," said Johnson.
Following the decision, Weller was transported back to Rusk State Hospital. He'll remain there for another year until his next hearing.