A former Kenyan presidential candidate is set to stand trial for the murder of his three-year-old son who he allegedly believed was possessed by aliens.
Quincy Zuma Wambitta Timberlake, 43, was charged with murder three months after his son Sinclair died in their Kallangur home, north of Brisbane, on June 18, 2014.
Emergency services were initially called to the house following reports the child had fallen down the stairs and was not breathing.
He died a short time later despite the efforts of paramedics.
Police later arrested and charged Mr Timberlake with his son’s murder in September 2014.
The Crown prosecution case will allege in court that Mr Timberlake murdered his three-year-old son after punching him in the stomach.
It’s alleged Mr Timberlake believed the child was possessed by aliens who were residing in his stomach.
Mr Timberlake’s wife and the mother of his son, Esther Timberlake, later told police her husband had allegedly also thrown the young boy at a wall with such force it left dents.
Mrs Timberlake has since been convicted for being an accessory to murder after she’d tried to mislead police about her husband’s alleged involvement in their son’s death.
Police had never alleged Mrs Timberlake had harmed her son.
Crown prosecutor Caitlin Penfold told Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday that the case against Mr Timberlake was ready to proceed to a judge-alone trial.
She told the court there would be 11 hours of police interviews and recordings for Justice Paul Freeburn to consider during the two-week trial.
Mr Timberlake’s barrister Damian Walsh told the court that both parties agreed that his client had been diagnosed with psychosis and schizophrenia.
“The case will be whether he was suffering from that maladie on the day (of the alleged murder),” Mr Walsh said.
He told the court that he would argue that Mr Timberlake was also “struggling from psychosis” at the time of his interview with police.
Mr Walsh said he held concern for his client and was having him assessed by another psychiatrist on Friday ahead of the trial listed for Monday.
“I’ve seen Mr Timberlake a number of years and over many hours, and in previous times I’ve had concerns for his mental health,” Mr Walsh said.
“I’m not a psychiatrist but I’ve had some concerns in relation to things he’s told me and he’ll be assessed for his mental health.
“He’ll be assessed to whether he’s fit for trial on Friday.
“I’m not suggesting he’s unfit for trial, but I just have some concerns and I feel I have a responsibility to ensure I can receive instructions through the course of the trial.”
The judge-alone trial is expected to run for two weeks in the Brisbane Supreme Court from Monday.
About 10 witnesses are expected to give evidence at trial, including police and paramedics who attended the scene.
Mr Walsh said he was yet to decide whether he would call on his client to give evidence and was waiting for further advice from the psychiatrist.
Mr Timberlake announced in 2010 that he would run for president under a political party he formed called PlaCenta while still living in Kenya.
He had co-founded the party with his wife and the founder of Kenya’s Finger of God church, Joseph Hellon.
The Timberlakes later migrated to Australia.