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Man accused of smashing Ten Commandments monument at Arkansas Capitol found unfit for trial

by John Lynch | November 16, 2017 at 9:38 a.m.
Michael Tate Reed, 32, of Van Buren and the Ten Commandments statue he is accused of knocking over with his vehicle.

The man accused of driving a vehicle into a Ten Commandments monument — destroying it just hours after it was installed outside the state Capitol in Little Rock — has been found not fit for trial based on a diagnosis by state doctors.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza on Thursday committed Michael Tate Reed, 32, to the Arkansas State Hospital until doctors can determine if he will ever be fit for trial.

Authorities say Reed drove a car into the monument on June 28, toppling it and causing it to crumble into pieces. The act was broadcast live on Facebook, police said, and Reed was arrested on charges of defacing objects of public respect, trespassing on Capitol grounds, both misdemeanors, and first-degree criminal mischief, a felony.

In an earlier appearance in Pulaski County District Court, Reed appeared via a video feed from the Pulaski County jail. When he approached the camera, he appeared calm but then had to be muted as he exclaimed, “My Lord, my God” multiple times and told his public defender he did not need her services.

Reed was previously accused of destroying a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma in a similar fashion, after which he was hospitalized for mental evaluation and treatment, according to the Tulsa World.

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

Photos by Emma Pettit
Click here for larger versions

Reporter Emma Pettit contributed to this story.

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