- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

LEAD HILL, Ark. (AP) - A mental evaluation being sought for a northwest Arkansas man accused of shooting his mother and a family friend to death is expected to delay his capital murder case for several months, according to officials in Boone County.

Glen Froehlich, 35, of Lead Hill, was charged in October in the deaths of Helen Froehlich, 61, and Frank Simpson, 60. Their bodies were found on Oct. 3 after bake-sale organizers told the Boone County Sheriff’s Office they had not been able to reach Helen Froehlich since Oct. 1.

Two weeks earlier, concerned about his “mental state,” Helen Froehlich had asked her son to stop sleeping in a house that was being built on her property, according to Sheriff Mike Moore and an affidavit from sheriff’s Sgt. Jason Brisco.

Glen Froehlich responded by threatening her, firing a rifle into the ground and going back into the house, according to the affidavit. Deputies responded, “but he ran off into the woods,” Moore said.

On Thursday, Froehlich’s public defenders asked for a fitness-to-proceed evaluation for their client. Tim Bunch, head of the public defender office for Arkansas’ 14th Judicial Circuit, said it probably will take two or three months to complete it, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Saturday (https://bit.ly/1QkTRrJ ).

“As a matter of course, a fitness-to-proceed request is routinely granted,” Bunch said. “It’s almost universally granted.”

Bunch said mental evaluations include two components: fitness to proceed and criminal responsibility. Thursday’s motion regarded only fitness to proceed, he said.

The evaluation concerns “his ability to understand the charges against him and to communicate with his attorney,” Bunch said.

Froehlich was arrested on Oct. 3 after a five-hour standoff with police. No shots were fired.

He has pleaded not guilty to two counts of capital murder and other charges. Froehlich remains in the Boone County Jail with no bail set.

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

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