Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Lee County Family Slayings - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Marianna, AR

Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Lee County Family Slayings

MARIANNA, AR - A man accused of killing his mother-in-law and her parents in Lee County entered pleas of not guilty at a hearing today.

Gordon Randal Gwathney, 46, is accused of killing three people at a home near Palestine on February 13.  He was caught later that evening in Laredo, Texas, where officials say he was planning to cross the border into Mexico.

Gwathney is accused of killing his estranged wife's mother, 51-year-old Sylvia Reeves, and her grandparents, 81-year-old J.O. Mitchell and 79-year-old Evelyn Mitchell.

The wife, Lisa Gwathney, heard the gunfire and fled through a window to seek help.

Prosecutor Fletcher Long says mental evaluations have not yet been performed on Gwathney.  Long says it is likely he will pursue the death penalty, but says the mental evaluation results could have bearing on that decision.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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