LITTLE ROCK (AP) — A judge has ordered another mental evaluation for Abdulhakim Muhammad after he tried to plead guilty to new charges over his attorney's objections.
Muhammad appeared in court Tuesday to be arraigned on a battery charge — his fourth such charge alleging that he attacked someone while being housed at the Pulaski County jail. His attorney, Patrick Benca, entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf, but Muhammad interrupted him and said he wanted to plead guilty to all the jailhouse charges.
Benca said his client had been uncooperative, and he requested another mental evaluation even though Muhammad has already been found fit to stand trial. Judge Herb Wright granted the motion and didn't accept Muhammad's plea.
If convicted, Muhammad faces the death penalty for the 2009 death of Pvt. William Long of Conway.