State waives death penalty for man accused of murder

CONWAY (Log Cabin Democrat) - The state has waived the death penalty in the case against a man accused in the March 20 murder of Billy Joe Ewing.

Clayton Monsees, 31, was charged with capital murder following the shooting and stabbing death of Ewing at his home.

Prosecutors also charged Ewing's wife and Monsees' ex-wife, Amanda Leigh Ewing, 27, as an accomplice in his murder.

Monsees appeared in Faulkner County Circuit court on Tuesday, where his case was transferred from Judge David Reynolds' 1st Division court to 2nd Division court under Judge Michael Maggio following the continuance of the case.

"There are aggravators and mitigators under current law that have to be evaluated before going forward with the death penalty in any case," said Prosecutor Cody Hiland. "However, when there are multiple defendants involved in the same case there are obviously other factors that must be taken into account that we wouldn't be at liberty to discuss until later in process."

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