ORLANDO, Fla. — Ted Bundy "is a diabolical genius and the most competent serial killer in the country at this time," a federal judge said today in ruling that Bundy was mentally competent during a 1980 murder trial in Orlando.
U.S. District Judge G. Kendall Sharp said at the end of a four-day hearing that there was no evidence Bundy was incompetent to stand trial for the 1978 murder of 12-year-old Kimberly Diane Leach. In his verbal ruling, Sharp strongly criticized the federal appellate system, which he said prolongs appeals of Death Row inmates to the detriment of the legal process. Apparently angered by the U.S. 11th Cicuit Court of Appeals ruling that ordered him to hold a competency hearing, Sharp said: "Everyone knows that competency was not on trial here. The death penalty is. The only reason he (Bundy) is here is because of the penalty itself."