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A homeless man accused of stabbing a man to death in March at The Salvation Army in Texarkana, Ark., will undergo a mental evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial for second-degree murder.

Billy Joe Mitchell, 43, appeared with Managing Public Defender Jason Mitchell for arraignment Tuesday before Miller County Circuit Judge Carlton Jones. Jason Mitchell entered a not-guilty plea on Billy Mitchell's behalf and asked Jones to order an evaluation of Billy Mitchell's psychological fitness to proceed and whether he was mentally capable of conforming his behavior to the law at the time of the alleged offense. Jones granted the motion.
Billy Mitchell is accused of stabbing 33-year-old Joshua Sines in the chest March 26 at about 5:30 p.m., according to earlier reports. Witnesses snapped cellphone pictures of the alleged attack, according to court records. Police who responded at the shelter were informed by witnesses that Billy Mitchell appeared to be heading north on State Line Avenue when he left. Texarkana, Ark., police, assisted by Texarkana, Texas, officers, took Billy Mitchell into custody on the Texas side of State Line Avenue shortly after the assault.
Sines was transported via ambulance to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.
Prosecuting Attorney Stephanie Black signed off on a felony information formally charging Billy Mitchell with second-degree murder May 2. Second-degree murder is punishable by six to 30 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000. Because Billy Mitchell has four or more prior felony convictions, Black is seeking to enhance the sentencing range to six to 60 years.
Billy Mitchell is currently being held in the Miller County jail. Bail is set at $250,000.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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