Jersey Bridgeman’s Accused Killer Mentally Evaluated

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The Bentonville man accused of killing six-year-old Jersey Bridgeman received a second mental evaluation Friday, to determine whether the suspect is mentally fit to stand trial.

Zachary Holly was evaluated by Dr. Patty Walz of Consulting Psychology Western Arkansas. The results of the evaluation, along with a previous mental evaluation from April, will remain under seal.

A mental status hearing in Benton County Circuit Court to determine Holly’s mental competency to stand trial is set for July 25 at 8:30 a.m. in Judge Brad Karren’s courtroom, according to court documents.

That first mental evaluation was conducted at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock in April, according to court documents, after Holly’s lawyer claimed he wasn’t mentally fit to stand trial.

Holly’s lawyer, Pat Aydelott, said he thinks the second mental evaluation will go in Holly’s favor.

Holly remains in the Benton County Jail, charged with capital murder, kidnapping, rape and burglary in connection with the Bentonville girl’s death.

Holly was arrested shortly after investigators found the girl’s body at a vacant house near Holly’s on Nov. 20, 2012.  An autopsy found she died of asphyxiation, according to an affidavit of probable cause released by authorities. A swab test on Bridgeman’s body also showed traces of sperm.

At his Jan. 7 arraignment, Holly pleaded not guilty to the charges. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in the case.