Murder charge weighed against 89-year-old man

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) - A Sebastian County judge is considering whether to dismiss a first-degree murder charge against an 89-year-old man charged with killing his 83-year-old wife in 2007.

The Southwest Times Record reports ( a clinical psychologist at the State Hospital has found that Autry Thrift Basham isn't competent for trial and is to undergo further examination at the State Hospital, where he's being held.

Defense lawyers on Friday asked Circuit Judge James Cox to dismiss the charge - but Cox said he wanted to see the results of a mental evaluation first.

Basham's 2008 trial in the death of Marie Basham ended with the jury deadlocked 11-1 in favor of conviction for second-degree murder. One juror wanted to acquit Basham based on his claim of having a mental disease or defect.

Information from: Southwest Times Record,

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