Murder case on hold while defendant undergoes mental exam

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Proceedings in a Miller County murder case are on hold until the accused undergoes an evaluation to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

Christopher Allen Basham, 34, is facing charges of murder and terroristic acts in a Dec. 9, 2021, shooting that resulted in the death of 39-year-old Donald Haworth Jr. Basham's public defender recently asked Circuit Judge Brent Haltom to order a mental evaluation in the case.

Until a report is received by the court, the proceedings cannot move forward. If Basham is found competent, the case will move toward a trial date.

Basham allegedly came to Haworth's house Dec. 9 in the 7900 block of Line Ferry Road and argued with a woman there, according to a probable cause affidavit. When he left, Basham allegedly spun the tires of his pickup, causing ruts in the driveway.

Haworth allegedly sent Basham a text message telling him "to come back to the home to fix the driveway, with or without an ass whooping."

Witnesses allegedly told Miller County Sheriff's deputies that when Haworth saw Basham's truck approaching his home, Haworth stepped off the porch holding a wooden baseball bat. As Haworth began walking down the driveway, Basham, still seated in his pickup, allegedly fired three shots from a shotgun, striking Haworth at least once in the chest.

Deputies were called to the home at about 1 p.m. and Haworth was taken by ambulance from the scene.

Basham was initially arrested for battery but that charge was increased to murder after Haworth's death on Dec. 14, 2021. Basham also is charged with two counts of terroristic acts for allegedly endangering the lives of two women who were present at the house at the time of the shooting.

Basham faces five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000 if convicted of either of the two counts of terroristic acts. If found guilty of murder, he faces 10 to 40 years or life in an Arkansas prison.

Basham is being held in the Miller County jail on a $1 million bail.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Connie Mitchell is handling the prosecution.

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