Accused Child Killer Gets Second Mental Evaluation

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Accused child killer Zachary Holly has been approved for a second mental evaluation, with this one to be conducted next month by a Fort Smith psychologist.

Holly appeared before Judge Brad Karren on Wednesday (May 29) in Benton County Circuit, where defense attorneys were granted a second mental evaluation.

Dr. Patty Walz of Consulting Psychology Western Arkansas is to evaluate Holly on June 21, the judge said. A mental status hearing is set for July 25 at 8:30 a.m. The results from the second evaluation will remain under seal. Holly’s first mental evaluation from earlier this year also is under seal.

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’s wife was at the court on Wednesday as the defense lawyers waited to see if their request for a second evaluation would be approved.

“No comment,” she said to 5NEWS. “I have nothing to say to you guys.”

Holly remains in the Benton County Jail, charged with capital murder, kidnapping, rape and burglary, in connection with the death in Bentonville last year of 6-year-old Jersey Bridgeman.

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.

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