Mur­der sus­pect to un­dergo men­tal eval­u­a­tion

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - Tracy M. Neal can be reached by email at tneal@nwaon­ or Twit­ter @NWATracy.

BEN­TONVILLE — Pro­ceed­ings were sus­pended Mon­day in the case of a man ac­cused of killing a 3-mon­thold baby.

Ed­ward Alexis Martinez-Tor­res, 21, of Spring­dale is charged with cap­i­tal mur­der in the death of the child he was baby-sit­ting in Bethel Heights, ac­cord­ing to a prob­a­ble cause af­fi­davit. Martinez-Tor­res was dat­ing the boy’s mother, Kan­chana Mon­tero.

Drew Led­bet­ter, Martinez-Tor­res’ at­tor­ney, re­quested a men­tal eval­u­a­tion for his client. The eval­u­a­tion will cover whether Martinez-Tor- res is men­tally fit to stand trial and whether he is crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble for his ac­tions.

Ben­ton County Cir­cuit Judge Robin Green granted the re­quest and sus­pended the pro­ceed­ings un­til the eval­u­a­tion’s com­ple­tion. The eval­u­a­tion will take place at the Arkansas State Hospi­tal in Lit­tle Rock. A men­tal sta­tus hear­ing is sched­uled for 8 a.m. June 5.

Bethel Heights po­lice and med­i­cal per­son­nel went to 2923 Kings Drive on June 9 for a 911 call of a baby not breath­ing. The child, re­ferred to as “J.R.” in the prob­a­ble cause af­fi­davit, was taken to North­west Med­i­cal Cen­ter-Spring­dale and later trans­ferred to Arkansas Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Lit­tle Rock. Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal doc­tors de­ter­mined the baby suf­fered a skull frac­ture.

Martinez-Tor­res faces life im­pris­on­ment with­out pa­role if con­victed. He is be­ing held in the Ben­ton County Jail on $500,000 bond.


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