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Transient-killing case back at circuit court

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 19, 2014 at 8:34 a.m.

VAN BUREN — Attorneys for a man convicted in the 2001 slaying of a woman at a Crawford County transient camp have waived a formal arraignment as the case moves toward another trial.

Rickey Dale Newman was sentenced to death for the killing and mutilation of 46-year-old Marie Cholette. But last month, the Arkansas Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Newman, finding that Newman had "cognitive deficits and mental illnesses" that interfered with his ability to assist his defense attorneys at trial.

The state had argued there was sufficient evidence that Newman was competent to stand trial.

The Southwest Times Record reported that attorneys for Newman waived formal arraignment Tuesday in the case. Circuit Court Judge Gary Cottrell ordered that Newman remain held without bond.

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