- Associated Press - Thursday, April 17, 2014

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Prosecutors say they won’t seek the death penalty against a North Little Rock man charged with setting his girlfriend on fire then dousing her with gasoline.

Matthew Nichols is charged with capital murder in the May 2013 death of Jessie McFadden. Attorneys for Nichols on Thursday withdrew a plea of innocent by reason of mental disease or defect. Judge Wendell Griffen entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf.

A State Hospital report says Nichols is mentally fit for trial.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Johnson said the death penalty will not be sought. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports (https://bit.ly/1hZcTQc ) Nichols’ trial is set for Aug. 25.

McFadden suffered burns on 90 percent of her body and died hours after the attack. Authorities have not revealed how she was set on fire.


Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com



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