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BEL AIR, Md. (AP) — A former Maryland college student who told authorities he killed a man and ate his heart and parts of his brain pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible Monday.
Alex Kinyua, 22, entered the plea to first-degree murder in the death of 37-year-old Kujoe Bonsafo Agyei-Kodie last year. The former Morgan State University student spoke softly as he responded to questions from the judge, saying he had agreed to the plea and medications he had been taking were helping him. He declined an opportunity to address the court.
Judge Stephen Waldron said he had concerns about agreeing to the plea, but had to accept determinations by psychiatrists for the defense and prosecution that Kinyua could not be held criminally responsible. He expressed condolences to family and friends of the Agyei-Kodie.
"My heart breaks for you," Waldron said. "I am very, very sorry."
Kinyua has been held at the state's maximum-security psychiatric hospital and returned there after the hearing.
Kinyua, a U.S. citizen originally from Kenya, admitted using a knife to kill and carve up Agyei-Kodie before eating his organs, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said when Kinyua was arrested last year. Agyei-Kodie, a native of Ghana, had been staying with the Kinyua family for about six weeks at their townhouse in a Baltimore suburb when he disappeared in May 2012. His body was found four days later.
Authorities say Kinyua ranted about "human sacrifices" on Facebook before the slaying.
In a separate case, Kinyua pleaded guilty but not criminally responsible in a baseball bat attack at Morgan State days before the killing of Agyei-Kodie. The man injured in that attack is suing the university, accusing it of ignoring signs that Kinyua was violent.
Kinyua's father is a physics professor at Morgan State.
Kinyua was in Los Alamos during the summer of 2011 attending a symposium at the lab.
“We can confirm that Alexander Kinyua was a student here last summer. He held no security clearance and worked in our Design Engineering organization in leased space downtown, outside of the main lab campus. He had no access to classified or otherwise sensitive material. He left in good standing at the end of the summer,” a statement issued by the lab last summer read.
His study focused on the cost-effectiveness and productivity of “comfort control” systems regulating heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
According to the website,” the intent of the symposium is to broaden students’ expertise and to prepare them for graduate study and research careers in engineering and science as well as non-technical fields. This is an excellent forum in which to witness science in the making.
“Technical talks and poster presentations will give students a unique opportunity to network, whether the goal is beginning or continuing further graduate study or to pursue a professional career. Students will be in the company of technical staff and distinguished scientists from the laboratory who volunteer to serve as mentors to our undergraduate, and graduate researchers. Fields represented include bioscience, chemistry, computing, earth and space sciences, engineering, materials, physics, and non-technical areas.”
In his abstract, Kinyua wrote the following.
“I worked with pre-configured Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) servers with conceptual techniques such as brainstorming and synectics, to enhance methods of Axiomatic Design (AD) and Trans-disciplinary System Development Life-cycle (TSDL) models, to establish my results, which, so far, indicate a correlation between comfort control and system efficiency. Laboratory workers spend nearly eight or more hours per day in their environment, many adjusting the temperature to a comfortable level. Keeping offices at a comfortable temperature is essential to creating an environment that encourages efficiency,” he wrote.