Florida man charged after corpse found near 3-foot sword

By: Pat Beall, Palm Beach Post

Updated:

LAKE WORTH, Fla. - A Lake Worth man once ruled incompetent to stand trial on charges of carrying a knife in a children’s play area was arrested Saturday afternoon in connection with the death of an unidentified person.

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The bloodied body was found near railroad tracks next to a 3-foot sword.

George Christopher Livingston, 51, is charged with second-degree murder. He is being held without bond pending a full hearing to determine whether he can be released from jail.

During Livingston’s first, brief appearance before a judge Sunday morning, a prosecutor argued against granting bail. She cited Livingston’s previous prison sentences for stalking and pointed out that there had been a court “no-contact” order barring him from contacting the family of the murder victim.

Police and fire-rescue crews found the still-unidentified victim next to the railroad tracks north of Seventh Avenue North in Lake Worth, covered with blood and with “visible injuries consistent with a violent attack,” said a spokeswoman for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

The sword was located nearby.

The homicide is the third in Lake Worth in the last two months, according to a Palm Beach Post database. The other two -- those of Octavio Sanches-Morales and Lucio Velazquez-Morales -- were gang-related, according to the PBSO.

In 1998, Livingston had been court-ordered to have no contact with an individual, “for protection against repeat violence.”

It didn’t work. “After the permanent injunction was in place, (Livingston) continued his course of harassment and threatening behavior toward the victim,” according to court records. A jury found him guilty of aggravated stalking. He was sentenced to five years in state prison.

In 2004, state prison records show he was again charged with aggravated stalking, this time in Broward County. He got two years in prison.

In 2011, a security guard at the Boynton Beach Mall told an off-duty police officer that he had seen a man with a knife attached to his belt in the mall’s children’s play area.

Police asked Livingston to step outside, when, during a pat-down, they found a sheathed nine-inch knife. Livingston protested, saying that it was a pocket knife, which he needed for protection against Boynton gangs.

As a convicted felon, Livingston is not allowed to carry a weapon.

During booking, police stated that Livingston had demanded to know “why did the other officer take my pocket knife but not my Taser.” Police then searched Livingston again and found the Taser.

He was charged with two counts related to carrying a concealed weapon. He pleaded not guilty.

The case did not go to trial, however.

Seven months after his arrest, and on the same day two court-appointed experts submitted the sealed results of Livingston’s mental health evaluation, a judge ruled that Livingston was not competent to stand trial. He was ordered to surrender any guns or other weapons. And, although the original charges did not name any victim, he was also ordered to have no violent contact with an unidentified person.

Three weeks later, Livingston’s public defender argued that charges be dismissed, writing that Livingston “appears to have no substantial probability of becoming competent in the foreseeable future.”

Charges were dropped.

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