National News

Arkansas inmate accused in officer's death to be evaluated

Posted September 6

— A judge says an Arkansas inmate accused of killing a correctional officer needs further mental evaluations before his case can proceed to trial.

The Texarkana Gazette reports that 27-year-old Tramell Hunter could face the death penalty if convicted of capital murder in the Dec. 18 death of correctional officer Lisa Mauldin. Hunter is also accused of attacking correctional officer Damaris Allen.

Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson ordered the evaluation earlier this year after defense attorney Ron Davis entered a not guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect. The prosecution says a psychologist found that Hunter is incapable of assisting his lawyer with his defense. The psychologist also recommended further evaluation.

Johnson says Hunter's case can't move forward until he's reevaluated and a determination of his competency has been made.

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