Murder suspect to undergo mental evaluation
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.