The murder trial of a Greenland man accused of gunning down his wife and mother-in-law in January will be reset in Washington County Circuit Court probably to begin in the next couple of months, according to prosecutors.
County prosecutors have charged Mandrake Patterson, 27, with two counts of capital murder and one count of attempted capital murder. Patterson pleaded not guilty to the charges and remains in the Washington County Detention Center without bond. (A photograph by 5NEWS staff member Larry Henry of Patterson entering a not guilty plea accompanies this story.)
His trial was set to begin Friday (April 12) but was reset while attorneys await findings from the Arkansas State Crime Lab, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office. Circuit Judge William Storey is expected to set a new trial date on Monday, officials said.
Patterson was arrested Jan. 10 on suspicion of killing two people and injuring his wife’s aunt at 1037 N. Main St. in Greenland.
Patterson’s mother-in-law, Betty Desalvo, 53, was pronounced dead after the shooting. His wife, Hope Patterson, 34, died later at Washington Regional Medical Center, according to the Greenland Police Department.
A third woman, Denise Fulfer, 55, was in critical but stable condition at Washington Regional Medical Center. Desalvo and Fulfer are sisters.
Patterson made a voluntary statement to Greenland police and confessed to being involved in the shooting, according to a probable cause preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
Police responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Elmwood Apartments on Main Street at 8:46 p.m., authorities said.
“It was a domestic dispute that went bad,” said Police Chief Gary Ricker.
All those involved lived at the address where the shooting occurred, police said.
Police said there was fifth person who also lived in the apartment who witnessed the shooting and is being questioned by police.
Greenland police said a shotgun was used in the shootings.
Police said they have responded to disturbance calls at the home in the past.
Ricker said it’s been a while since something like this has happened in the city of Greenland.
“The last murder we had before this was probably about 10 years ago, and I`ve been police chief for 21 years. And this is only the second time that something like this happened,” Ricker said.