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Little Rock man accused in road-rage killing of toddler ruled fit to proceed; trial date set

By Emma Pettit

This article was published September 18, 2017 at 4:03 p.m.

gary-holmes-sr-33-right-faces-one-count-of-capital-murder-and-two-counts-of-committing-a-terrorist-act-in-the-death-of-3-year-old-acen-king-left-in-little-rock-on-saturday-dec-17-2016

Gary Holmes Sr., 33, (right) faces one count of capital murder and two counts of committing a terrorist act in the death of 3-year-old Acen King (left) in Little Rock on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016.


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A Little Rock man accused of fatally shooting a toddler in a fit of road rage last year was found competent to continue with court proceedings at a Monday hearing.

Gary Eugene Holmes was escorted by two Pulaski County corrections officers into Judge Barry Sims’ courtroom. The 33-year-old was committed in May to the state hospital for an assessment of his mental health.

Michael Simon, the hospital's supervising psychologist for forensic services, had written a letter to the judge asking Holmes to be sent from the jail to the hospital for inpatient analysis. In the letter, Simon said Holmes “presented himself as very depressed” and spoke of previous mental health issues.

"It was my impression that he was simply being oppositional and passive-aggressive and that his performance, throughout the evaluation, could be better explained by personality factors rather than mental disease or defect,” Simon wrote.

Holmes’ defense attorney Ron Davis told the judge Monday that the state hospital had ruled his client fit to proceed. Davis changed Holmes’ plea from not guilty by reason of mental defect to not guilty. When asked by a reporter after the hearing whether he would challenge the state hospital’s findings, Davis said: “Stay tuned.”

Holmes faces charges of first-degree murder and committing a terroristic act in the shooting death of 3-year-old Acen Ameer King on Dec. 17, 2016.

Holmes is accused of firing a shot into the car driven by King’s grandmother near the intersection of Mabelvale Cut Off Road and Warren Drive. The grandmother told investigators she did not realize her grandson had been shot until she arrived at a shopping center.

Police described the killing as an act of road rage.

An omnibus hearing was scheduled for Jan. 11. Holmes' jury trial was scheduled for Feb. 13-15.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Comments on: Little Rock man accused in road-rage killing of toddler ruled fit to proceed; trial date set

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Displaying 1 - 4 of 4 total comments

mrcharles says... September 18, 2017 at 4:32 p.m.

REad the chapter called Rebellion in Brothers Karamazov, it is about as clear as it gets.

May he suffer the 10th circle of hell in prison .

Let me tell you about a man named William Lane Craig, who says G-d does no wrong by taking the lives of children, their death is actually their salvation. Tell me again about grace, about being civil to people who think this way, about love and mercy. This child did not die in his sleep, he was killed by a bullet.

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user92115 says... September 18, 2017 at 4:47 p.m.

No mercy for that scum bucket who murdered that precious child.

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DoubleBlind says... September 18, 2017 at 7:05 p.m.

I oppose the death penalty but cases such as this test my belief. There is no true 'justice' when a child is brutally murdered for no reason. Perhaps the closest we can get in Holmes' case is to ensure he suffers and dies in prison without any possibility of parole.

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abb says... September 18, 2017 at 8:49 p.m.

Death by SCAPHISM for those that harm children.

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