Back in town
Officers lead Vincent Seard into District Courtroom 1 at the Kerr County Courthouse Thursday, for a brief hearing. Seard is accused of murdering two Comfort residents in 2003.

A man accused of brutally killing two people near Comfort about 17 years ago in a random attack will once again be brought to Kerrville for trial.

Sheriff W.R. “Rusty” Hierholzer told county commissioners today that medical officials have declared capital murder defendant Vincent Seard to be mentally competent to stand trial. Seard, 56, has been incarcerated at various out-of-county state hospitals for years while being treated for mental illness. He’s now at an East Texas hospital in Rusk, Hierholzer said.

Seard is accused of murdering Patricia Kutzer, 59, and Terry Ingram, 52. At approximately 5:25 p.m. March 10, 2003, the bodies of Kutzer and Ingram were found in the driveway of Kutzer’s home near Comfort. Kutzer lived at the residence with her husband, while Ingram, the owner of a Comfort body shop, rented a building on the property where he kept hogs. Their causes of death were ruled to be blunt force trauma, and the bodies showed signs of having been run over.

Seard, who by all previous accounts was a model citizen, had no history of mental health problems, drug addiction or mental trauma at the time of his arrest in 2003 on murder charges.

There has been speculation that some of his behavior could be the result of having been electrocuted years earlier. Seard was electrocuted while installing drywall in 1997, court records state. He was treated for headaches, numbness and electrical sensation until 1999 and was able to go back to work in 1998. He was stabilized on a regimen of Ultram, Sinequan and Depakote, and a CT scan in 2003 was within normal limits.

An indictment accuses Seard of causing the deaths by striking Kutzer on the head with a frying pan and hitting Ingram on the head with a rock and brick, on or about March 10, 2003. 

Seard reportedly left evidence at the crime scene that tied him directly to it, such as a picture of himself from a compact disc advertisement, clothing, a dog, photos of him and the dog and his driver’s license.

Four days after the killings, Seard was arrested near Los Angeles on arrest warrants issued out of Kerr County. 

While in jail, Seard reportedly displayed violent, erratic, Satanic behavior and seemed to display unusual physical strength — at one point tearing a fixture out of a wall — while being practically impervious to Tasers, tear gas and pepper spray, Hierholzer indicated. 

Seard’s other charges include two counts of aggravated assault against a public servant, including one against Hierholzer.

Aside from Seard’s reported Satanic ramblings, no motive was ever determined for the killings. Seard reportedly stole Ingram’s credit card and used it. He apparently had no connection to the deceased or anyone in the area. 

“I do believe that Seard was possessed by the devil,” Hierholzer told a room of citizens sheriff’s academy cadets in 2013. 

In 2006, Austin psychiatrist Dr. Richard Coons testified that Seard believed he had a presence in his life that made him the “evilest in existence” and was not competent to stand trial for the murders.

The case is being prosecuted by 216th District Attorney Lucy Wilke. This isn’t her first capital murder case; she has been lead counsel on four capital murder cases and was second-chair prosecutor on two such cases. 

She said the Seard case is the only one she’s handled that has involved an apparently random act in which the deceased has no connection to the accused.

Hierholzer told commissioners the state hospital has said Seard is the most dangerous patient who’s ever been there; he said he’d send “several” officers to pick up Seard and bring him to Kerrville for the competency hearings. 

Hierholzer also noted that just because hospital officials believe Seard is competent doesn’t mean the local court will agree.

If Seard’s defense attorney, Kurtis S Rudkin, agrees his client is competent, the murder trial will proceed and could be completed this year, Wilke said. If Rudkin does not agree, then Seard will have the option of choosing a judge or jury to settle the matter of competency.

He already has been brought back to Kerrville several times for the same reason.

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