Suspect in Dead Body Case Laughs, Shouts in Courtroom

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A man facing murder charges and is accused of living with a dead body for months, made outbursts during his arraignment Thursday in Stockton.

Devon Epps was evicted from his apartment on Channel Street Sunday. When the apartment manager went to check it out Monday morning, he found a dead body wrapped up in the bathroom. He told FOX40 it was clear the body had been dead for a while.

Epps was arrested Wednesday morning and booked into jail for murder. During Thursday’s arraignment, Epps started moaning, then laughing as the judge read the charges against him. Epps then talked back to the judge and began shouting.

It is not clear who the dead person is, the coroner needs to finish an autopsy and other tests, including comparing dental records.

Though the victim’s identity hasn’t been revealed by the San Joaquin County coroner yet – brother of suspected victim Veronica Jones was shaken after Epps’ bizarre tirades in court.  “I’m kinda at a loss right now with what I witnessed with Devon’s behavior – screaming at the judge, talking to apparently nobody, you know with the outbursts and just yelling at the air,” said Isaac Zuniga.

You can watch previous interviews with the family here.

After Epps was escorted from the downtown Stockton courtroom, Judge Stephenson cited three different years – 1999, 2003 and 2005 — that the suspect’s mental competency was called into question while he was under parole supervision.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Thomas Testa told FOX40 he believes Epps’ was putting on a show and not having a mental break during Thursday’s proceedings.

“Legal insanity is a very high bar. I see nothing that shows, from what I can tell right now, that he doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong,” Testa said.

The proceedings were suspended until December 13th pending the outcome of a mental health evaluation. The Judge set his bail at $2 million.

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