Judge orders examination

Murder suspect to undergo psychological tests

Friday, Circuit Judge Bynum Gibson signed an order for murder suspect Camron King to undergo a criminal responsibility examination after King admitted to investigators he beat Roxanne Best to death with a 2x4 on Jan. 4.
Thomas Deen, the prosecuting attorney for the Tenth Judicial District, formally charged King with first-degree murder last Wednesday afternoon. The Class Y felony is punishable by imprisonment for not less than 10 years nor more than 40 years or life. Joseph Mazzanti, the chief public defender who is representing King, then filed a notice of intent to rely of the defense of mental disease or defect.
In his petition, Mazzanti also requested the court to include an IQ examination in King’s CRE. Gibson agreed and ordered King to undergo the examinations at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock by “one or more disinterested qualified psychiatrists or qualified psychologists.”
While King, 32, has been summoned to appear before Gibson for his next appearance on Monday, the order for the CRE stated that “all further proceedings in (King’s) prosecution are immediately suspended” and that the “examination shall be for a period not exceeding 60 days or, if applicable, such longer period as the Director of the Division of Aging, Adult and Behavioral Health Services or his or her designee determines to be necessary for the purpose of the examination.”
The criminal responsibility examination, according to court records, requires the examiner to provide the court “an opinion a to whether as the result of mental disease or defect the defendant at the time of the alleged offense lacked the capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law.” Further, the examiner is required by the court to provide “an opinion as to whether at the time of the alleged offense the defendant lacked the capacity to form a culpable mental state that is required to establish an element of the alleged offense.”
According to the Affidavit for Warrant of Arrest, sworn to and signed by Investigator Kenny Cox, King admitted to him and Special Agent Bo Norris on Jan. 5 to striking Best in the back of the head with a 2x4 until she did not move “because he did not know if he could trust her.”
In one of his two amended petitions filed with the court Friday, Mazzanti said he has “good cause to believe that there is a reasonable suspicion that the defendant … is not fit to proceed to trial.”
King is still being held in the Drew County Detention Facility.

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