State Finds Rico Cohn Mentally Fit In Nina Ingram Murder Case
The Springdale man accused of strangling a 21-year-old Fayetteville woman to death has been declared mentally fit by the Arkansas Department of Human Services, according to documents from the agency.
An Arkansas State Hospital mental evaluation on Rico Tavarous Cohn finds that the 27 year old “did not manifest any substantially impairing symptoms of a mental disease or mental defect,” and that Cohn “displays a clear rational and factual understanding of the criminal proceedings against him.”
The findings from Cohn’s mental evaluation Oct. 2 were submitted to the Washington County Circuit Court on Dec. 10, with the report becoming public Monday, court records show.
Cohn was examined at the hospital for almost three hours by Dr. Mark M. Peacock, according to court documents.
The capital murder suspect is accused of strangling Nina Ingram to death in her Fayetteville apartment in 2006. At his arraignment in June 2012, Cohn pleaded not guilty to a capital murder charge. His trial is set for March 10, 2014, at 8:30 a.m. in Judge William Storey’s courtroom in Washington County, documents show.
Ingram, a business student at NorthWest Arkansas Community Colllege, was found strangled April 22, 2006, in her apartment at what then was known as the Law Quad Apartments at 701 W. Sycamore St. The complex is now called Club At The Creek.
One of her brothers and his friend found her body after they crawled through an unlocked window, police said. They went to the apartment to check on Ingram after the family couldn’t reach her by phone.
Despite continued investigating by police, Ingram’s murder had gone unsolved for six years. In April 2012, a new detective was assigned to work solely on solving the case, after which police arrested Cohn in connection with Ingram’s death.
Cohn told police he was a maintenance worker at the apartment complex at the time of Ingram’s death, although they said he might have been lying to create an alibi for being at the location.
The doctor who examined Cohn said the suspect would not admit during the mental evaluation to killing Ingram, a requirement for a mental illness defense.
The newly-released documents also state the murder suspect said he would not take a plea deal under any circumstances, saying he’s innocent in Ingram’s death. If found guilty, Cohn could face the death penalty, according to court documents.