Trial Set for Man Accused in Triple Slaying near Palestine

MARIANNA, AR - A trial date has been set for Gordon Gwathney, who is accused of killing his mother-in-law and his wife's grandparents in Lee County.

Gwathney is charged with capital murder for the February 13 killings at a home near Palestine.  Gwathney tried to flee to Mexico, but authorities caught him at the border in Texas.

Defense lawyers have said they will pursue a defense of innocent by mental disease or defect.  Trial is to be held in May.

Killed were 51-year-old Sylvia Reeves, 81-year-old J.O. Mitchell, and 79-year-old Evelyn Mitchell.  Gwathney's brother-in-law, Terry Reeves, and St. Francis County Sheriff's Deputy Tracy Jackson were wounded as they went to help the family.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)