Tyree Smith is charged with killing Angel Gonzalez with an ax in a Bridgeport apartment in December. He then allegedly removed one of Gonzalez's eyes and a part of his brain and took them to a nearby cemetery to eat, Bridgeport police said.
Talitha Frazier, Gonzalez's sister-in-law, suggested the killing was premeditated.
"Angel told me Tyree came to him a week before and threatened to kill him" over alleged owed money, she said outside Bridgeport Superior Court.
Smith is a single father and unpublished writer who lived in nearly Ansonia, then California and Florida before ending up homeless in Bridgeport. The Connecticut Post reported he had sought help at several mental health facilities, and that he wrote a Facebook page entry last year that read,"Devouring your flesh. Smelling your bodies burn in a heap."
Judge Robert Devlin remanded Smith back to jail, where he has been held since his January arrest, and set the next hearing date in the case for April 16.