Man Accused of Killing Ex Father-in-Law Won’t Face Death Penalty

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Sebastian County prosecutor Dan Shue said Thursday (Oct. 3) the state of Arkansas will not seek the death penalty in the capital murder trial of a man accused of shooting and killing his former father-in-law.

Michael Ray Underwood, 47, is accused of gunning down his ex-wife’s father, Michael Shook, before shooting himself in the head in June. Underwood received medical treatment in a Little Rock hospital after his attempted suicide.

In a letter to Judge James Cox, Shue writes he considered the evidence in the case, as well as Underwood’s mental state, in addition to consulting with law enforcement and the victim’s family before making the decision. While the state will not waive the death penalty or stipulate that no aggravating circumstances exist, Shue wanted to advise the court of the state’s intention in the case.

On Sept. 12, Underwood’s bond was set at $100,000 with conditions that he be monitored. He has since bonded out of the Sebastian County Adult Detention Center, according to jail officials.

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