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Thread: Rickey Dale Newman - Arkansas

  1. #21
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    State court dismisses motion in 2001 murder case after defendant returned

    The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a defense motion to quash an order deeming accused killer Rickey Dale Newman incompetent to stand trial and sending him to the Arkansas State Hospital, declaring the motion moot.

    Newman, 56, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die at the end of a one-day trial in Crawford County Circuit Court on June 10, 2002, for the 2001 murder of Marie Cholette, 46, at a Van Buren homeless camp. Newman represented himself, confessed to the crime and asked jurors to sentence him to death.

    But on Jan. 16, the state Supreme Court ruled Newman was incompetent to stand trial when he was convicted in 2002 and ordered a new trial.

    On Feb. 18, Newman was scheduled to be arraigned on the capital-murder charge, but Circuit Court Judge Gary Cottrell determined the hearing wasn’t necessary when he learned Philadelphia attorney Julie Brain had entered her appearance on Newman’s behalf.

    On Feb. 28, Cottrell signed a “not-fit-to-proceed commitment” order based on the Supreme Court’s finding that Newman was incompetent to stand trial in 2002, directing Newman be sent to the State Hospital for “detention, care and treatment until restoration of fitness to proceed.”

    Brain filed a motion March 6 asking Cottrell to reconsider his order, which he denied March 10, and Newman was subsequently transferred to the state hospital March 18. On March 24, Brain filed a motion to quash the order with the Supreme Court.

    In her March motion filed with the high court, Brain argued Cottrell’s order “is in clear violation of the statutes governing determination of fitness to proceed.”

    If there is reasonable suspicion a defendant is unfit to proceed, Brain said a mental evaluation is required for a judge to make a final determination, and if the findings of the evaluation are contested, the court is required to hold a hearing on the matter, according to her motion.

    On June 17, Brain filed a motion to dismiss the March 24 filing as moot, after Newman was returned to the Crawford County Detention Center. The high court granted the motion Thursday.

    In April, Cottrell was notified by Mark Peacock, director of the state hospital postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology, that Newman’s unwillingness to cooperate with an examination to assess his current mental state or fitness to stand trial — at the direction of Brain — makes any ongoing effort to forcibly treat or “restore” his fitness to stand trial potentially “unsafe” and doesn’t serve the best interest of the state hospital or Newman.

    In a May 15 letter, Billy Burris, forensic services program coordinator at the state hospital, notified Cottrell that Newman exhibited no signs or symptoms of a major mental illness during his stay at the hospital and does not require continued hospitalization. Burris noted that his letter did not constitute a formal opinion on Newman’s fitness to proceed and informed Cottrell that Newman would be returned to Crawford County on May 18.

    No future court dates for Newman are scheduled yet, but a motion Brain filed to appoint a special prosecutor for the case is pending.

    In her motion, Brain argues Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune and his office should be disqualified from handling the case because McCune participated in questioning Newman on May 9, 2002, about a month before Newman’s trial, and he accompanied a Van Buren police officer who took Newman to two different locations where Newman claimed he disposed of the knife used to kill Cholette.

    Brain argues there is exculpatory evidence in the May 9, 2002, interview and if the defense uses that information, McCune would be a material witness and therefore excluded from prosecuting the case under a 1987 state Supreme Court decision that says a prosecutor can no longer serve as an advocate for the state when he/she is a potential material witness.

    “It is highly likely that Mr. McCune will be a critically important witness if the state’s case survives a motion for a directed verdict,” Brain wrote.

    Brain argued McCune’s deputies also should be precluded from prosecuting the case because of the involvement of Chief Deputy Robert Presely and deputy prosecutor Scott Houston in post-conviction proceedings in the case.

    McCune could be immediately reached for comment Thursday; his office has not yet responded to Brain’s motion.

    In November 2009, the state Supreme Court remanded Newman’s case to circuit court after a psychologist who found Newman competent to stand trial admitted errors in his evaluation during a 2007 federal court hearing, and questions were raised about whether the state withheld evidence from the defense.

    Cottrell presided over a five-day hearing that ended March 18, 2011, during which he heard extensive testimony from prosecution and defense mental health experts regarding Newman’s competence to stand trial in 2002.

    In a five-page ruling issued the following July, Cottrell ruled Newman is mentally retarded but was competent to stand trial in 2002.

    In court hearings and court filings, Brain has argued the state withheld evidence when Newman was tried in 2002 and Newman is innocent and his confession was a product of his mental illness.

    Newman has gone back and forth through the years, allowing appeals to be filed on his behalf and then asking that all appeals be dropped. In 2011, Newman asked Cottrell to halt a hearing on his appeal so he could be executed.

    http://arkansasnews.com/news/arkansa....9OmlmApD.dpuf
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  2. #22
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    Crawford County Judge Orders Mental Exam For Newman

    Rickey Dale Newman must undergo a court-ordered mental evaluation over the objection of his attorney.

    In Crawford County Circuit Judge Gary Cottrell’s Nov. 5 order, if Newman refuses to cooperate, the examiner is directed, if possible, to provide an opinion on whether Newman’s unwillingness to cooperate is the result of mental disease or defect.

    Newman, 56, was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die at the end of a one-day trial in Crawford County Circuit Court on June 10, 2002, for the 2001 murder of Marie Cholette, 46, at a Van Buren homeless camp. Newman represented himself, confessed to the crime and asked jurors to sentence him to death.

    On Jan. 16, 2014, the state Supreme Court ruled Newman was incompetent to stand trial when he was convicted in 2002 and ordered a new trial.

    Ron Fields, former Sebastian County prosecuting attorney, was appointed special prosecutor on the case in August.

    Fields was appointed after Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune recused himself at the request of Newman’s attorney, Julie Brain, who argued McCune participated in questioning Newman in May 2002, and was a potential material witness.

    On Oct. 10, Fields filed a motion asking Cottrell to order an exam to determine if Newman is competent to stand trial. Fields cites a Sept. 17 letter Newman sent to the court in support of his motion.

    In the letter, Newman professes his innocence, while also expressing his desire to die.

    “Death is my only peace. All though I am not guilty of Marie Cholette murder in 2001. And all the real evidence show 100%. I am not guilty. I am not guilty of killing anyone ever,” Newman wrote, in part. “I want a jury trial. NO DEALing but a Jury Trial!! No matter what anyone say I want this jury trial with death on the table. I better off dead. And not in the HELL I live in.”

    Fields argued in his motion that the defense previously argued on appeal that Newman’s wish to die was “indicative of unfitness to proceed.” He also argued that Newman sending the letter without consulting with Brain also shows a potential lack of understanding of the proceedings.

    In her response, Brain argued the court should disregard Newman’s letter because he is represented by counsel and it was sent against her advice.

    However, if the letter is taken into consideration, it should be considered in context, Brain said.

    There is a significant difference in having thoughts of death and actively engaging in behavior to cause your own death; the state is not seeking the death penalty, so Newman is in no danger of being executed; unlike previous behavior, Newman is not seeking to sabotage his chances of acquittal; and Newman maintains his innocence, she said.

    “Properly understood, the letter is merely an innocuous expression of the frustration that occasionally, and fleetingly, overwhelms Mr. Newman — a frustration that is understandable given his present circumstances and the fact that he has spent over 13 years on death row for a crime he did not commit,” Brain argued in her response to Fields’ motion.

    Brain also argued the state is seeking a second mental exam on fitness to proceed because they didn’t like the result of an exam earlier this year.

    In April, Mark Peacock, director of the state hospital postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology, notified Cottrell that Newman’s unwillingness to cooperate with an examination — at the direction of Brain — to assess his current mental state or fitness to stand trial made any ongoing effort to forcibly treat or “restore” his fitness to stand trial potentially “unsafe” and doesn’t serve the best interest of the state hospital or Newman.

    In a May 15 letter, Billy Burris, forensic services program coordinator at the state hospital, notified Cottrell that Newman exhibited no signs or symptoms of a major mental illness during his stay at the hospital and does not require continued hospitalization. Burris noted that his letter did not constitute a formal opinion on Newman’s fitness to proceed and informed Cottrell that Newman would be returned to Crawford County.

    In November 2009, the state Supreme Court remanded Newman’s case to circuit court after a psychologist who found Newman competent to stand trial admitted errors in his evaluation during a 2007 federal court hearing, and questions were raised about whether the state withheld evidence from the defense.

    Cottrell presided over a five-day hearing that ended March 18, 2011, during which he heard extensive testimony from prosecution and defense mental health experts regarding Newman’s competence to stand trial in 2002.

    In a five-page ruling issued the following July, Cottrell ruled Newman is mentally retarded but was competent to stand trial in 2002.

    In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that executing a mentally retarded defendant is “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.

    In court hearings and court filings, Brain has argued the state withheld evidence when Newman was tried in 2002 and Newman is innocent and his confession was a product of his mental illness.

    Newman has gone back and forth through the years, allowing appeals to be filed on his behalf and then asking that all appeals be dropped. In 2011, Newman asked Cottrell to halt a hearing on his appeal so he could be executed.

    http://swtimes.com/news/crawford-cou....FmRUd3FN.dpuf
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  3. #23
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    Questions Of Competence Keep Newman From Trial

    By Jeff Arnold
    The Times Record

    A new trial date for Rickey Dale Newman remains up in the air until questions about his competence are answered to the satisfaction of Crawford County Circuit Court Judge Gary Cottrell.

    Newman, 57, is accused of killing Marie Cholette, 46, in February 2001 in a “hobo camp” in the area of Lee Creek Park.

    He was convicted and sentenced to death in June 2002, but in January 2014 the Arkansas Supreme Court determined Newman was incompetent to stand trial in 2002, overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial.

    On Feb. 28, 2014, Cottrell signed a “not-fit-to-proceed commitment” order based on the Supreme Court’s finding that Newman was incompetent to stand trial in 2002, directing Newman be sent to the State Hospital for “detention, care and treatment until restoration of fitness to proceed.”

    In April 2014, Mark Peacock, director of the state hospital postdoctoral fellowship in forensic psychology, notified Cottrell that Newman’s unwillingness to cooperate with an examination to assess his current mental state or fitness to stand trial makes any ongoing effort to forcibly treat or “restore” his fitness to stand trial potentially “unsafe” and doesn’t serve the best interest of the state hospital or Newman.

    After Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune recused his office from participating further in Newman’s prosecution — at the request of the defense — former Sebastian County Prosecuting Attorney Ron Fields was appointed as special prosecutor in the case in August.

    In November, Cottrell once again ordered Newman to undergo an evaluation to determine his competence to stand trial. In February, Dr. Bradley Diner, a board certified forensic psychiatrist, informed Cottrell that Newman refused to cooperate, making it impossible for him to make a determination.

    During a March 2 hearing, Cottrell once again ordered Newman to undergo and cooperate with a competency evaluation, something Julie Brain, Newman’s attorney, argues Newman can’t be compelled to do.

    However, in a subsequent filing, Brain informed Cottrell that Newman will cooperate under the following conditions: statements made by Newman during the evaluation may only be used to determine competency; the evaluation be completed at the Crawford County Detention Center where Newman is incarcerated; Brain is allowed to be present during the evaluation; and the defense should be informed ahead of time if the evaluator intends to conduct any psychometric testing.

    In her filing, Brain notes that Cottrell announced during the March 2 hearing that he won’t set a trial date until Newman cooperates with an evaluation.

    In his response to Brain’s filing, Fields argues that Newman’s aggressive behavior toward Brain at the March 2 hearing and Newman’s most recent letters to the court and Fields, are similar to previous letters cited, in part, by the Supreme Court in reaching the determination Newman was incompetent in 2002 dictate he should be examined at the state hospital.

    Fields filed his response March 24. Cottrell hasn’t yet ruled on the matter.

    Other pending motions include a defense request for a change of venue and a defense request to suppress incriminating statements Newman made to police and McCune ahead of his 2002 trial.

    In her motion, Brain argues not only was Newman incompetent to stand trial in 2002, he was incompetent when he made incriminating statements in 2001 and 2002.

    Fields argues there is no finding Newman was incompetent when he made pretrial statements and determining whether someone is competent to be a witness or stand trial is based on different legal standards.

    Newman’s multiple statements to investigators and his confession on the stand were significant pieces of evidence against him at his 2002 trial.

    When he was convicted in 2002, the state introduced the testimony of officers involved in the investigation; Newman’s incriminating statements; crime scene photos; testimony from the medical examiner; and testimony that hairs found on Newman’s gloves were microscopically similar to Cholette’s hair and a hair found on Cholette’s sleeping bag was microscopically similar to Newman’s hair.

    Post-trial DNA analysis showed the hairs found on Newman’s gloves weren’t Cholette’s and the hair found on Cholette’s sleeping bag was subsequently lost.

    Fields recently submitted further evidence for DNA analysis, including fingernail clippings from Cholette that showed no foreign DNA, a watch belonging to Newman that yielded no DNA, inconclusive DNA profiles from a piece of quilt and Cholette’s shirt and unidentified male DNA from a second piece of quilt, according to an Arkansas Crime Laboratory Report.

    Newman has gone back and forth over the years about his guilt or innocence and desire to die, in court and in letters to the court.

    In his latest letter to Cottrell and Fields, written March 18, Newman maintains his innocence but offers to plead guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence and credit for time served.

    Fields served notice to the court March 24 that he won’t seek the death penalty for Newman, because he is not eligible for death under existing case law.

    In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Atkins v. Virginia that executing a mentally retarded defendant is “cruel and unusual punishment” prohibited by the Eighth Amendment.

    Cottrell previously ruled that Newman is mentally retarded.

    http://swtimes.com/news/questions-co...p-newman-trial

  4. #24
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    Newman committed to state hospital

    Former death row inmate Rickey Dale Newman isn't mentally competent to be retried on a capital murder charge and has been committed to the State Hospital for treatment, a circuit court judge ruled.

    Crawford County Circuit Court Judge Gary Cottrell issued the order last week after determining no evidence has been presented since an Arkansas Supreme Court's ruling in January 2104 showing Newman was now mentally fit to stand trial.

    The court ruled last year Newman, 57, wasn't mentally fit to assist in preparing for his 2002 trial. The court vacated his conviction and death sentence and ordered a new trial.

    Newman's retrial was scheduled to begin in Van Buren on Monday, but Cottrell ordered it scratched from the schedule until Newman has been restored to fitness.

    Cottrell wrote in his five-page opinion a determination of Newman's fitness hasn't been made because he has refused, on instruction from his attorney, to cooperate in two mental evaluations ordered since his return from death row to Crawford County last year.

    And, the order said, letters Newman has written to Cottrell protesting his innocence of the murder charge but asking he be considered for the death penalty has left Cottrell unconvinced there has been a change in Newman's mental competence and fitness to stand trial.

    Special Prosecutor Ron Fields of Fort Smith petitioned Cottrell last month to waive the death penalty against Newman, arguing execution wasn't legally appropriate for Newman because of his mental impairment.

    "While a significant period of time had elapsed between the date of the original trial and the Supreme Court's finding that defendant was then incompetent, this court does not believe it can simply ignore that finding on remand and proceed with a retrial absent a determination that defendant's fitness to proceed has been restored," Cottrell wrote.

    In the order, Cottrell recounted after Newman was moved from prison to Crawford County, Cottrell ordered Newman to be sent to the State Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

    Newman's attorney, former federal public defender Julie Brain, now of Philadelphia, opposed the order and sought a reversal from the state Supreme Court. She later dropped the appeal when Newman was discharged from the hospital and returned to Crawford County.

    Doctors at the State Hospital couldn't complete the evaluation because Newman wouldn't cooperate in the evaluation. Later, Cottrell ordered Newman evaluated by an independent Little Rock psychiatrist, but Newman wouldn't cooperate with him.

    Cottrell wrote in his order despite Brain's insistence Newman is competent to stand trial, her own mental health professionals have testified Newman's failure to cooperate in the evaluations "is itself indicative of mental illness."

    Newman was charged with capital murder in the February 2001 death of Marie Cholette, 46, whose mutilated and decaying body was found at a transient camp on Van Buren's west side.

    Newman told to police he killed Cholette and testified in his one-day trial in June 2002 he enjoyed killing her and wanted the jury to sentence him to death. It did.

    Newman successfully waived all but the initial review of his sentence and death penalty and was scheduled to be executed in July 2005. But a few days before his execution date, he allowed Brain and another federal public defender to petition for a stay on his behalf and to reinstate his appeals.

    U.S. District Judge Robert T. Dawson concluded in a 2008 habeas corpus petition in Fort Smith doctors' evaluations of Newman showed he was mentally incompetent to waive his appeal rights and sent the case back to state court to resume the appeals process.

    http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2015/a...hospital-2015/
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  5. #25
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    Judge says suspect in slaying mentally fit for his 2nd trial

    By Dave Hughes
    arkansasonline.com

    Rickey Dale Newman is now fit to stand trial again in connection with the 2001 mutilation and murder of a woman at a transient camp in Van Buren, a Crawford County circuit judge has ruled.

    Circuit Judge Gary Cottrell concluded from multiple mental evaluation reports over 19 months that Newman's mental fitness to proceed to trial had been restored as ordered in a January 2014 ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

    His four-page ruling dated Wednesday declared that scheduling of motion hearings and setting a trial date would begin.

    Newman's attorney, Julie Brain of Philadelphia, has a pending motion to suppress statements Newman made to police after his arrest in February 2001 and a motion for change of venue in the capital-murder trial.

    Special prosecutor Ron Fields of Fort Smith also has a pending motion to limit evidence the defense can present at trial on possible alternate suspects.

    In the 2014 ruling, the state's high court ruled that Cottrell had erred in 2011 in denying a new trial for Newman on the grounds he was mentally unfit to assist his attorney.

    The court ruled Newman suffered from a mental disease or defect that interfered with his ability to assist his attorney in preparing for his 2002 trial. The court threw out the conviction and death sentence and sent the case back to Cottrell to restore Newman to competence so he could receive a new trial.

    Cottrell wrote Wednesday that psychiatrist Brad Diner, whom he asked for an opinion on Newman's fitness to stand trial, stated in a report in early October that Newman had mental diseases and deficits that "tend to wax and wane with time and that, at the present time, the defendant is in fact fit."

    In two previous mental evaluations, Newman, on instruction from Brain, refused to cooperate. The examining doctors said that despite not being able to examine Newman, they did not find signs of major mental illness.

    Fields said Friday that he agreed with Cottrell's findings and noted that Cottrell wrote in his opinion that Brain did not oppose the doctors' conclusions.

    "The court notes that the defense now insists that the defendant is, in fact, fit to proceed and therefore has embraced the recent finding by the Arkansas State Hospital to that effect, and urges the court to accept their findings," Cottrell wrote.

    Efforts to reach Brain were unsuccessful. No one answered the phone at her Pennsylvania office.

    Cottrell wrote that he hesitated to accept the doctors' findings because of letters Newman has sent him over the last several months. The letters contained language that Cottrell said showed Newman still was fixated on the death penalty even though

    Fields has said he is not seeking death in this case.

    The letters also were sent without Brain's knowledge and against her advice, leading Cottrell to doubt Newman's ability to cooperate with his attorney and understand the proceedings against him.

    The frequency of the letters has slowed, Cottrell wrote, but if the letters become more frequent and continue to contain the language that has been worrying him, "the court will immediately take action as recommended by the Arkansas Supreme Court to stop the proceedings and order the defendant recommitted for evaluation and/or treatment."

    Newman, now 58, was arrested in February 2001 in the slaying of 46-year-old Marie Cholette. In his one-day trial in June 2002, in which he acted as his own attorney, Newman told the jury he killed Cholette and asked to be sentenced to death.

    After he was condemned, he successfully waived his appeals and was scheduled for execution on July 26, 2005. Four days before his execution, attorneys filed for and received a stay on his behalf.

    http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2...ally-/?f=crime
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  6. #26
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    Retrial set in Van Buren killing

    More than 13 years after his first trial on a capital murder charge, Rickey Dale Newman is scheduled to face a jury again early next year.

    Crawford County Circuit Judge Gary Cottrell set Newman's trial for Feb. 1. Newman, 58, was convicted in June 2002 in the mutilation murder of 46-year-old Marie Cholette at a transient camp on the edge of Van Buren on or about Feb. 7, 2001.

    His first trial lasted one day, and he was sentenced to death. Special prosecutor Ron Fields has told Cottrell that he will not seek the death penalty against Newman in the retrial.

    Cottrell also set aside Dec. 15, 17 and 18 for a hearing on Newman's motion to suppress statements that he made to police around the time of his arrest in 2001. The motion was filed in July by his attorney, Julie Brain of Philadelphia.

    In the motion, Brain asked Cottrell to disallow use in the retrial the statements he made in a March 2, 2001, interview at the Van Buren Police Department, and a March 7, 2001, statement overheard by a Van Buren police officer: '"I killed the b***h. I don't know why they won't let me plead guilty."'

    The motion also seeks to exclude oral and video-recorded statements that he gave police and Crawford County Prosecuting Attorney Marc McCune on May 9, 2002, and a letter he wrote to McCune shortly after his arrest.

    Brain argued that the statements should be disallowed at trial because Newman was illegally detained when he gave the statements; that the statements were obtained contrary to his right against self-incrimination; that his statements were false and unreliable; and that he gave the statements when he was mentally incompetent.

    Fields also has a pending motion to limit evidence the defense can present at trial on possible alternative suspects. No hearing date has been set on that motion, according to court records.

    Cottrell set the trial for Newman after ruling earlier this month that he was mentally fit to stand trial.

    The Arkansas Supreme Court in January 2014 threw out Newman's 2002 conviction and death sentence on the grounds he suffered from a mental disease or defect that interfered with his ability to assist his attorney in preparing for his first trial. Newman defended himself in his trial, with Public Defender Bob Marquette assisting him.

    The state Supreme Court sent the case back to Cottrell so Newman could receive a new trial when he was deemed competent.

    After multiple mental evaluations over 19 months, Cottrell ruled Nov. 4 after reviewing the evaluations that Newman's mental competence had been restored.

    In the ruling, he noted that one doctor pointed out mental diseases and defects tend to "'wax and wane with time'" but that, at present, Newman is mentally fit.

    After Newman was sentenced to death in 2002, he successfully waived his appeals and was scheduled to be executed July 26, 2005.

    Four days before his execution date, he allowed attorneys to file for a stay of his execution. The stay was granted on the grounds that he suffered from mental disease and defect that made him ineligible for execution. His appeal process started from there.

    http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2015/n...ling-201511-1/

  7. #27
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    Ex-death row inmate asks Arkansas court to toss retrial

    FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A man whose murder conviction and death sentence was overturned now wants the Arkansas Supreme Court to dismiss the case.

    An attorney for Rickey Dale Newman asked the court to dismiss the capital murder charge on the grounds that he did not receive a speedy trial.

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/1PuxK5t) that the court issued an order saying it wants more information before deciding whether to hear the appeal.

    Attorney Julie Brain says the state failed to bring Newman to trial within a year of the state Supreme Court overturning his murder conviction and death sentence because he was mentally incompetent. Brain said 249 days were wrongly excluded from the speedy trial calculation for mental evaluations.

    Brain was convicted of killing Marie Cholette in 2001 at a transient camp near Van Buren.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...rt-to-toss-re/

  8. #28
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    Death Row Inmate Free after 17 Years in Prison

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- A Death Row inmate is free after spending 17 years behind bars.

    Rickey D. Newman had his charges dropped on Wednesday afternoon, according to Crawford County Prosecuting Attorney Ron Fields.

    Fields said Newman walked free after 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

    Newman was originally arrested on charges of capital murder, following the killing of a woman, according to records from the Van Buren Police and the Crawford County Circuit Court.

    The records show that Newman, who was a transient rail rider, killed a woman named Marie Cholette at a wooded camp in the vicinity of Lee Creek Park.

    Cholette's body was discovered in a tent in the woods. She had sustained several lacerations and stab wounds to her chest, as well as a deep slit in her neck, according to the medical examiner who responded to the scene.

    Records show Cholette had been the victim of severe mutilation while she was still alive. Several parts of her body were missing, including half of her liver, which was absent from the crime scene.

    Following Newman's arrest, records show he sometimes maintained his innocence and would then recant. At one point, he wrote to the circuit court and prosecuting attorney, "insisting he receive the death penalty," according to the records.

    Newman sometimes said he did not kill Cholette. He claimed it was his alter-ego, known on the rails as "Seaco."

    In a statement Newman made to police in May of 2002, he said he had drugged Cholette and "sacrificed her," according to the documents.

    Newman confessed to killing Cholette in front of members of the jury. In June of 2002, Newman elected to testify in front of a jury, remarking, "I went across the bridge and I bought her alcohol. I drugged her up. I got her drunk, and I killed her."

    Newman was released Oct. 11 after the State Supreme Court ruled Newman's taped confessions could not be used, due to mental defects.

    http://www.nwahomepage.com/news/deat...ison/832932811

  9. #29
    Senior Member Frequent Poster one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    This is terrible. I wonder what the victims family has to say.

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