A State Mental Hospital doctor has found the man accused of shooting a woman in a Conway Walmart unfit to stand trial.
According to a State Hospital forensic report filed in Faulkner County District Court last week, 30-year-old Myron Terrell "lacked the capacity to understand the proceedings against him and the capacity to effectively assist his attorney in his own defense" when examined by a forensic psychologist.
Terrell is accused of shooting Lori Martin six times while she was standing in the checkout line with her husband, Adam Martin, on Feb. 1. Both told the Log Cabin Democrat on Tuesday that they’d never seen or heard of Terrell before the shooting, and have no idea why he would have targeted Lori.
Terrell was a maintenance worker at the Walmart at the time of the shooting. He was arrested outside his apartment within hours of the shooting, and a Ruger LC9 handgun was recovered from the apartment. He is charged with attempted capital murder, a class-Y felony.
"Although his factual knowledge regarding the legal system is intact, his ability to assist in his defense is concerning," the forensic report reads. "... Mr. Terrell’s mother, grandmother, and coworkers also frequently observed him talking to himself, including well before the alleged offense; as such, it is unlikely that this behavior is feigned or due to uncooperativeness. Additionally, Mr. Terrell has a history of delusional beliefs, as well as auditory and visual hallucinations, and is currently not receiving mental health treatment or psychotropic medications."
Although there was reason to think he was malingering, or faking symptoms, the doctor wrote, "there is considerable evidence to suggest that he also experiences legitimate symptoms of mental illness that could impair his capacity to testify, strategize with his attorney and adhere to a defense strategy, manifest appropriate courtroom behavior, and make rational decisions regarding his case."
The forensic report indicates that Terrell perceived some people as "zombies" or demons, and that he "reported that he had never shot at a demon prior to the night of the alleged offense, saying ‘It was following me around. I hear it right now. It[‘s] trying to tell me to go to hell or give my soul, sell my soul.'"
When the forensic psychologist asked Terrell if he had experienced anything unusual or bizarre in his pretrial court appearances, according to the report, Terrell said, "That b---- I shot, she was in court. It makes me mad, like really, that makes me angry. She was in court sitting next to the judge. That’s the whole point that I was in here. I can’t call the police and then this shows up (sic) in court and sits right next to the judge like nothing is wrong with it. … I wanted to walk up to where the judge was sitting and shoot her [the victim] again."
Lori said on Tuesday that she’d never been in a courtroom with Terrell. She is recovering and able to walk on her own. She and her husband said they don’t feel any hate for Terrell.
Terrell will stay confined in the State Mental Hospital for further review of his mental state and competency to stand trial.