Cops: pyrotechnics may be hoax by murder suspect

GARDINER, Maine (AP) -- Police in Maine have called off a search for pyrotechnic devices related to an investigation of a Gardiner man accused of murdering his father.

Leroy Smith III was charged Tuesday with killing and dismembering his father, Leroy Smith Jr., inside an apartment where the men lived. Police in Gardiner and Richmond issued public warnings about improvised pyrotechnic devices after the 24-year-old Smith made a reference to planting them in the woods during a police interview.

Gardiner Police Chief James Toman said it's possible the presence of pyrotechnic devices was "a complete hoax" on the younger Smith's part. He added residents should still be cautious in wooded areas.

Smith was ordered Thursday to undergo a mental health evaluation. Leaving court he declared himself "the Lord, Father of life."


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