Murder Suspects’ Mental Status Hearings Delayed Until August

Zach Holly and Perry Davis

The court hearings to determine whether two Benton County murder suspects are competent to stand trial were delayed Wednesday to next month, according to Benton County Prosecutor Van Stone.

Zachary Holly is charged with capital murder in the death of six-year-old Jersey Bridgeman, of Bentonville. Holly received mental evaluations in April and June after his attorney argued Holly is not mentally fit to stand trial according to court records.

Perry D. Davis, of Bentonville, is charged with murder in the death of his wife Kelly Davis, after police said he killed her during a police standoff at the couple’s home last year.

Holly and Davis each had a mental status hearing scheduled for Thursday in Benton County Circuit Court, before their hearings were delayed to Aug. 30 to allow the evaluations to be completed, Stone said.

The content of all mental evaluations completed so far for Holly and Davis were sealed by the Benton County Circuit Court.

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.

Davis previously pleaded not guilty to killing his wife before turning the gun on himself in August.

Davis was charged Dec. 7 with capital murder and felony kidnapping. He remains in the Benton County Jail without bond, according to jail records.

Davis entered the not guilty plea in Judge Robin Green’s courtroom in Benton County Circuit Court, according to Green’s office.

Davis was arrested Nov. 8 after spending three months hospitalized in Bentonville, Fayetteville and Little Rock, recovering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head after shooting and killing Kelly Davis Aug. 19, police and hospital officials said.

Police had been waiting for Davis to recover before officially arresting him.

Police said Davis shot his 44-year-old wife in the head in the couple’s home at 804 S.W. Ouachita Drive in Bentonville.

SWAT teams and police lined the street before entering the home following the shooting.

Kelly was dead at the scene. Davis was rushed to Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville and later transferred to Washington Regional Medical Center. Davis was later taken to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences hospital in Little Rock, where he was in critical condition.

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