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Mental-exam results expected this month in Strickland case

By Gavin Lesnick

This article was published June 2, 2014 at 10:06 a.m.

Results of a mental evaluation of a man accused of fatally striking a Conway police officer with a vehicle are expected later this month.

Barry Strickland, who is facing charges of first-degree battery and driving while intoxicated in the death of Officer William McGary, made a brief appearance Monday before Faulkner County Circuit Judge Charles Clawson.

Attorneys on both sides said Strickland has already undergone a mental evaluation but that the report on its results has not yet been completed. Clawson then set a June 23 hearing, at which time the report is expected to be submitted.

No trial date has been set in the case pending the results of the evaluation, which was requested by the defense in September. Online court records show the evaluation at the Arkansas State Hospital was scheduled to have been conducted on May 7.

McGary was directing traffic on Dave Ward Drive on Jan. 31 when he was struck by Strickland's Jeep. McGary died at a Little Rock hospital the next day.

Toxicology tests have shown Strickland that night had no alcohol or nonprescribed drugs in his system, though he was under the influence of medication he takes for post-traumatic stress syndrome, Shaw said at a previous hearing.

Strickland, an Iraq war veteran, has remained free after posting bond about a week after his initial arrest.

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TheBatt says... June 2, 2014 at 12:22 p.m.

I've never understood why these mental evaluations take so long. Outside the courts system, they can be completed in a week or two.

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