Prosecutors request more mental testing in Fayetteville murder case – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

FAYETTEVILLE — Prosecutors in Washington County want a husband charged with capital murder in the death of his wife further evaluated to determine if there’s a basis for suppressing his statement to police.

John Christopher Davis, 29, is charged with accomplice to capital murder in the killing of Victoria Annabeth Davis on Aug. 19, 2015.

Legal Lingo

Miranda rights: Specific rights any person taken into police custody is entitled to. Law enforcement officers are required to inform a suspect in custody of their Miranda rights. Miranda warnings are often given verbally upon arrest and on paper before a written confession is taken. Failure to adequately provide a Miranda warning can make any statements made by that suspect inadmissible in court.

Source: uslegal.com

Davis is charged along with several others with killing his wife at their home on Hill Street.

Davis’ attorneys filed a motion in June asking Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay to suppress several statements Davis made to police. Kent McLemore and Robby Golden contend Davis wasn’t read his rights and wasn’t of sound mind because of intellectual disability and the stress of the situation to understand his right against self-incrimination.

Matt Durrett, prosecutor, filed a motion Tuesday asking Lindsay to order more testing to determine whether a mental disability prevented Davis from making a knowing and intelligent waiver of his Miranda rights.

Doctors at the Arkansas State Hospital said in February that Davis is mentally fit to proceed. Doctors said he doesn’t suffer from a mental disease and has the capacity to understand the proceedings and assist in his defense.

Davis chose not to participate in an assessment of his mental state at the time of the killing, based on the advice of his attorney, according to the report. He also declined to give doctors an account of the incident.

Doctors said they found no evidence in Davis’ records to substantiate a claim of mental disease or defect should he change his mind about pursuing an insanity defense.

Davis is set for trial Dec. 4.

The other defendants are Mark Edward Chumley, 46; Rebecca Lloyd, 37; Christopher Lee Treat, 30; and Desire Treat, 30. All are charged with accomplice to capital murder. All are being held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center.

Accomplice to capital murder is punishable by either life in prison or the death penalty.

Chumley called police and gave his phone to Davis, according to a police call log. Davis told police he killed his wife because she wanted a divorce. Davis told police he “shot her up with dope” and told police his wife was “in the living room on the floor,” according to the police log.

“She was beaten repeatedly. She was hooked up to a battery charger. She essentially bled to death from the beating she took. She was beaten with a baseball bat. She was raped with a baseball bat,” Prosecutor Matt Durrett told a judge at a hearing. “Those are the acts we allege constitute evidence of disregard for human life.”

NW News on 08/02/2017

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Prosecutors request more mental testing in Fayetteville murder case – Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

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