Mental evaluation ordered for James Herring in Celestia Duffin's murder case

    1:44 PM, Aug 8, 2012   |    comments
    James Saylor Herring. Photo courtesy of Fort Smith PD.
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    FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A judge has ordered a mental health evaluation for a man accused of killing his pregnant wife in western Arkansas.

    Judge James Cox last week ordered 34-year-old James Herring to undergo examination and observation by one or more psychiatrists or qualified psychologists.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Herring after authorities say he fatally stabbed his pregnant wife, Celestia Duffin, in May. Duffin staggered into a Fort Smith police station and collapsed. Doctors delivered her baby prematurely, but the boy died.

    Herring has pleaded not guilty to two counts of capital murder in the deaths of Duffin and her baby.

    Herring's defense attorney, Bill James, says he'll likely pursue a defense involving mental disease or defect.

    Prosecutor Dan Shue didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

    (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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