Two teens accused of killing a Wooster woman last year are waiting for Arkansas State Hospital staff to finalize their mental evaluation reports before attorneys can move forward with their respective cases.
Robert Smith III, now 17, and Tacori D. Mackrell, 18, each appeared before Circuit Judge Troy B. Braswell Jr. on Monday.
Smith, who was 16 years old when he allegedly helped kill 71-year-old Elvia Fragstein, is now represented by Garfield W. Bloodman. Smith and his cousin, Mackrell, each are charged as adults with capital murder, kidnapping, aggravated robbery and theft of property following the Wooster woman's disappearance and death.
On Tuesday, the 17-year-old's recently obtained counsel said that while the State Hospital has completed both requested prongs — a criminal responsibility and a fitness to proceed examination — employees still need documents of the young Smith's medical records.
Bloodman told court officials he expects Smith's mother will be able to collect the requested documents "within the next few weeks" and that they immediately will be handed over to hospital staff.
During Mackrell's hearing, defense attorney Bill James said that while the 18-year-old has undergone the criminal responsibility evaluation, hospital staff "for some reason didn't" conduct a fitness to proceed examination. Mackrell is scheduled to go back to the Sate Hospital on Thursday for a fitness to proceed evaluation. The evaluation, he explained to reporters, ensures a defendant understands the court process, such as the purpose of a defense attorney, a prosecutor's role and the judge's duty.
Judge Braswell looked to each party and rubbed his head as a steam emanated from his coffee cup while he worked to schedule new hearing dates in the teens' cases. Elvia's husband, Helmut, and other family, friends and supporters also patiently waited to hear the next haring dates in the cases against Smith and Mackrell.
Helmut has yet to miss a hearing in the criminal cases against the two accused of brutally killing his beloved wife.
According to allegations filed against the two teens, the Pine Bluff boys are accused of kidnapping 71-year-old Elvia Fragstein from the Conway Commons shopping center parking lot on July 7.
Online records hint gang activity played a role in her death. However, authorities have since declined to comment on the extent the role played.
The Wooster woman was reported missing by her husband, who was immediately concerned about his wife’s well being when she did not come home at 5 p.m. July 7 as she said she would.
The missing persons investigation soon turned into a homicide investigation after a body found in a wooded area along Gibb Anderson Road in Jefferson County was identified four days later as the missing Wooster woman. Authorities later found the victim’s vehicle had been set on fire and abandoned in Pine Bluff.
Smith is set to appear next in circuit court at 9 a.m. April 3 and Mackrell was rescheduled to appear at 9 a.m. May 21.