Inmate charged in jail guard’s death to have mental exam

Crime

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas state prison inmate charged with killing a county jail guard in 2016 is scheduled for hearing in Miller County Circuit Court.

Tramell Mackenzie Hunter, 30, is to be taken from the state prison to Miller County next Friday, according to court documents.

Hunter is charged with capital murder and faces a possible death sentence for the death of Lisa Mauldin at the county jail in December 2016.

Hunter was initially found mentally incompetent for trial, but the Texarkana Gazette reports he was later ruled competent after a state psychologist said no mental disease or defect was found and that Hunter may have been faking mental illness.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect and his attorney has requested, and been granted, another competency evaluation.

A court filing by defense attorney Ronald Davis says the mental evaluation has not been completed because the state Department of Correction has not allowed the psychologist into the prison because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The DOC reports on its website that 5,950 inmates and 454 prison staff have tested positive for the virus.

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