Capital murder defendant still incompetent to stand trial in correctional officer’s murder

Hunter Trammell appears in court flanked by Arkansas State Police. December, 2016 (photo by Field Walsh | TXK TODAY)
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The man accused of killing one female correctional officer and seriously injuring another in the kitchen of the Miller County jail in December 2016 remains unfit to stand trial, according to court records.

Tramell Mackenzie Hunter, 29, is charged with capital murder in the Dec. , 2016 death of Lisa Mauldin. Hunter is charged with battery of a peace officer for an attack on Correctional Officer Damaris Allen, who entered the kitchen after Hunter allegedly attacked Mauldin.

At the time of the attacks, Hunter was serving prison sentences out of Pulaski County for shooting his mother and uncle and stealing a car from his mother. He was assigned to the Miller County jail as part of a program that gives counties inexpensive labor while allowing inmates to live in a jail, often closer to family, while learning a skill.

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Hunter’s defense lawyer, Ron Davis, requested a psychological evaluation in early 2017 which found Hunter incompetent. Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson initially ordered that Hunter receive mental health treatment while in a prison unit but problems arose with the frequency of contact with mental health staff and other treatments. In October, Johnson ordered that Hunter be committed to the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock.

Hunter’s name appeared on Johnson’s criminal docket Tuesday but Hunter was not in court. A letter dated Tuesday and signed by Brandon Wall M.D., a forensic physician on staff at the hospital, states that Hunter is receiving treatment but has not been restored to competency.

“Mr. Hunter is clinically unchanged since admission despite treatment,” the letter states.

The letter states that a report on Hunter’s condition will be available at Hunter’s next court date Aug. 23.

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