Heard pleads not guilty to murder, mental evaluation requested

Heard pleads not guilty to murder, mental evaluation requested
(Source: KAIT)

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - A 16-year-old accused of murdering Newport police Lt. Patrick Weatherford appeared in Jackson County Circuit Court Thursday.

Derrick Heard has entered a not guilty plea by reason of mental disease or defect.

Lawyers for the teen have requested a mental evaluation.

Ronald Davis, Heard's attorney, said the first evaluation will determine if Heard is competent to go forward.

"Once that determination is made, there will be an evaluation as to his ability to understand right and wrong at the time of the incident and whether he can conform his conduct to the standards of the law," Davis said.

Davis is an attorney out of Little Rock and told Region 8 News he has worked on cases similar to this many times.

Heard was charged with capital murder, attempted capital murder, breaking or entering, theft of property and possession of a handgun by a minor during a probable cause hearing nearly one week ago.

Court documents state Heard reportedly admitted his role in the killing of Weatherford and shooting at another Newport police officer.

Davis said in court they will address bond at a later date.

Region 8 News will have more information as details emerge. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for up to the minute updates.

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