Tony Villegas' Diary: Is This Man Sane Enough to Stand Trial?
Now that a Broward judge has declared Tony Villegas incompetent to stand trial for the murder of attorney Melissa Britt Lewis, many people are wondering about his state of mind two years ago, when he was arrested for allegedly strangling Melissa and dumping her body in a canal.
If mental health experts agree Tony is not capable of standing trial now, what was his mental health like then? And what has two years in the Broward County Jail done to his mind?
The only clues we have are in Tony's diary, scribblings on a day planner that Plantation police officers seized during their investigation of the murder. The entries are scattered and disjointed, but they provide insight into the pain Tony faced as he tried to cope with his divorce from Debra Villegas, the mother of his children
and Melissa's best friend. Police interviews suggest that Tony targeted Melissa because he blamed her for his divorce and was jealous of all the time she was spending with his family after Debra kicked him out the house.
For those who suspect that Tony, 46, was framed, the diary is a piece of evidence worth a second look. His scribblings would be difficult to fabricate, since Tony wrote in his own fractured language, complete with misspellings and a stream of consciousness that's often hard to follow.
Some days he just wrote "MISS" or "BAD DAY."
Once, he wrote a list titled "Good things of my life: Family, car, job, Isaiah & Caleb [his sons], Sydney [his stepdaughter]. You o been sunshine. I miss you."
On February 20, 2008, two weeks before Lewis was killed, Tony poured his loneliness onto the page.
"I don't know why I feel this way," he wrote. "I guess I was in love. I miss my kids and... my wife. I thought... she had moved on with her life. I wish I [could] do like her, but I miss them very much..."
"She's been my friend for 15-16 years. Was I so bad? I can be with her no more but I still feel for her like I never felt for no other woman."
To read more of Tony's diary entries, click here.
Get the Things to Do Newsletter
Find out about upcoming events and special offers happening in South Florida.