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 and charged with murder.
The bloodied body of David Beckett, 58, was found next to a 3-foot sword near railroad tracks in Lake Worth.
George Christopher Livingston, 51, is charged with second-degree murder. He is being held without bail 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 victim next to the railroad tracks north of Seventh Avenue North in Lake Worth late Saturday afternoon, 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 past 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 Sheriff’s Office.
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, prison records show he was again charged with aggravated stalking, this time in Broward County, and was sentenced to 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 children’s play area.
Police asked Livingston to step outside, when, during a pat-down, they found a sheathed 9-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 mental health experts submitted the sealed results of Livingston’s psychological 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 dropped, writing that Livingston “appears to have no substantial probability of becoming competent in the foreseeable future.”
The case was dismissed.
Staff writer Charles Elmore contributed to this report.