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Saturday, August 30, 2014, 3:36 a.m.
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Lawyer argues for new trial over stabbing death

By The Associated Press

This article was originally published April 24, 2014 at 7:50 a.m. Updated April 24, 2014 at 11:09 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — A lawyer for a man convicted of capital murder in the stabbing death of a woman in Greenbrier argues that a circuit judge should have halted his trial when the defendant exhibited behavior that suggested he was mentally ill.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday heard arguments in the appeal of Ronald Britton Jr. of Beebe, who was convicted and sentenced to life without parole in the 2010 slaying of 20-year-old Michelle Asher.

A lawyer for the Arkansas attorney general's office argued that Britton appeared to have manufactured his symptoms.

Britton's lawyer says the trial judge should have ordered a new mental evaluation and said the judge should have declared a mistrial when Britton was shackled, handcuffed and fitted with a stun belt in front of the jury.

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