DERMOTT, Ark. — A prosecutor says he will request a mental health evaluation for a prison guard who was arrested after a standoff at a southeastern Arkansas prison.
Authorities say the 24-year-old officer barricaded himself inside an observation tower at the Delta Regional Unit in Dermott on Saturday. State police say the guard had access to a rifle and refused orders to leave the tower, leading to the standoff. No shots were fired and no one was injured.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (http://bit.ly/2dspvY0 ) reports that the guard faces a commercial burglary charge and an impairing operation of a vital public facility charge. He appeared in court Monday, but hasn’t been arraigned.
Attorney Thomas Deen said he’s seeking the mental health evaluation because the guard didn’t seem to have a purpose for his actions. Deen’s request for an evaluation will be made after a judge is assigned to the case, he said.
“It does not appear (McCarter) wanted to harm himself or anyone else,” said Solomon Graves, Arkansas Department of Correction spokesman. “Throughout the entire process, he never made any demands. We don’t have any idea as to why he chose to hole up in the tower.”
If convicted of commercial burglary, MCarter would face between three and 10 years in state prison. Impairing operation of a vital public facility is a misdemeanor with a one-year maximum sentence.
McCarter is on paid leave pending the outcome of internal and police investigations, Graves said. A request for disciplinary records produced no documents, meaning McCarter had not been suspended previously because of his conduct.
Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, http://www.arkansasonline.com