Mental evaluation ordered for Mansfield man

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A judge has ordered a third mental evaluation for an 89-year-old Mansfield man charged with killing his wife in 2007.

The first-degree murder trial for Autry Basham was scheduled to begin next week, but a judge delayed the proceedings so Basham can be evaluated. Authorities say Basham admits killing his wife, 83-year-old Marie Basham, but his attorneys say he was mentally ill at the time.

A jury deadlocked in Basham's case in 2008. Two previous mental evaluations found Basham was competent to stand trial.

The Southwest Times Record reports that Basham's attorney filed a motion that says Basham has been diagnosed with chronic memory loss among other ailments. The motion from attorney Kent McLemore says relatives say that Basham suffers from dementia.

No new trial date has been set.

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