A Faulkner County man accused in a capital murder case will soon be admitted into the State Hospital after a circuit judge ruled Monday he was unfit to proceed with trial.
Douglas Honley Bivens, 49, of Guy is charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder and two counts of aggravated assault on a family or household member following a Jan. 2, 2017, incident where Bivens' mother was found shot to death in front of her New Home Road residence and his father had suffered a gunshot wound to the arm.
The murder suspect was previously ruled OK to proceed with the criminal proceedings against him by Arkansas State Hospital staff. However, a second fitness to proceed hearing was held before Circuit Judge Charles "Ed" Clawson Jr. last month. Since the July 5 hearing, Clawson had reviewed the evidence presented before him in Faulkner County Circuit Court and made his ruling Monday morning.
Clawson determined Bivens was not fit to proceed with trial and ordered he be transferred from the county jail to the care of the Arkansas State Hospital within two weeks.
"The Court further orders that the defendant is to be transported by the Arkansas State Hospital from the Faulkner County Detention Center to the Arkansas State Hospital within 14 days of the issuance of this order so the defendant may be examined and treated by a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist until restoration of fitness to proceed," the Monday order reads in part.
In his order, Clawson also ruled that Bivens must appear before him again in 10 months to determine if "the defendant's mental disease is of a nature precluding restoration of fitness to proceed" or "whether the defendant presents a danger to himself or to the person or property of others."
Gina Reynolds and Teri Chambers, who represented Bivens up to this ruling, vied for the 49-year-old to be found unfit because he suffers from Schizophrenia.
Bivens' health history showed he began showing signs of Schizophrenia at age 19.
Bivens, who has pleaded not guilty to the aforementioned charges, was arrested Jan. 2, 2017, after sheriff’s office deputies responded to a shots fired call and found Bivens’ mother, 71-year-old Janette Bivens, dead in the yard at 55 New Home Road, which is just outside of Guy city limits.
According to a search warrant, the sheriff’s office responded to a 911 call around 2:35 p.m. Jan. 2 “from a juvenile that [said] her uncle shot her ‘nana and grandpa.’”
“When Deputies arrived at 2:48 p.m. they found Douglas Honley Bivens walking up from the rear of the home with a shotgun that he placed on the trunk of a vehicle,” the search warrant affidavit reads. “Douglas Honley Bivens told Sgt. Darrell Freeman that he had just shot his mother and told him where her body was.”
FCSO found Janette by her vehicle with an apparent gunshot wound to her face.
Douglas’ father, 73-year-old Don Bivens, was taken to Conway Regional Medical Center after authorities found him inside the home with a gunshot wound in his arm.
Two juveniles who were at the home during the incident were put in the family’s custody on the scene.
According to the felony information filed in Bivens’s case, he was charged with two counts of aggravated assault for “manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life, purposefully engage in conduct that created a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to a family or household member, [and] display a firearm in the manner that created a substantial danger of death or serious physical injury to a family or household member.”
Bivens is scheduled to return to Faulkner County Circuit Court at 1 p.m. April 29 for a pretrial hearing to determine if his mental state has been restored by that point in order to proceed with the criminal proceedings against him regarding the aforementioned charges.