- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A judge says a Fort Smith man accused of killing two people with a machete last year will not be forced to undergo a mental exam.

Gregory Aaron Kinsey, 21, faces a Nov. 17 capital murder trial. Defense lawyers say Kinsey will claim he killed Brandon Prince, 39, and Nathan Young, 32, in self-defense after the Fort Smith men confronted him on a city street. Prosecutors seeking Kinsey’s execution wanted the judge to order a mental exam for the defendant ahead of the trial.

After taking testimony Thursday and listening to three recordings of telephone calls Kinsey made from jail, Circuit Judge Stephen Tabor said a mental exam wasn’t necessary, according to the Southwest Times Record newspaper at Fort Smith (https://bit.ly/1s2gBks ). He found that Kinsey understands the proceedings against him.

A witness, Nathan Maynard, said Prince and Young, who had been drinking beer on a porch, confronted Kinsey, believing he was acting suspiciously while walking through an alley. Maynard said Kinsey threw down grocery bags he was carrying and pulled a machete from his pants and struck the men.

Jury selection opens Nov. 13. Tabor dismissed some potential jurors Thursday based on questionnaire answers that said they had made up their mind about Kinsey or wouldn’t consider a wide range of penalties if he were convicted. The judge said he wouldn’t excuse jurors who complained the trial will be held during deer season.

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Information from: Southwest Times Record, https://www.swtimes.com/

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