FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A man found guilty of a 1986 killing when he was a teenager has a resentencing date scheduled for later this year.
Christopher Segerstrom, 51, was found guilty of murdering 4-year-old Barbara Thompson in 1987 when he was 15 years old. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On March 12, 2019, the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that he shouldn’t have been sentenced to life without parole as a minor. His attorneys then filed a motion on June 4, 2019, stating that their client needed a medical evaluation to determine if he was mentally fit to be re-tried.
According to court documents, on January 22, 2020, Segerstrom was examined by Dr. Lacey Willett at the Arkansas State Hospital in a face-to-face interview. The doctor also reviewed Segerstrom’s psychological records dating back to a first grade visit to the Ozark Guidance Center.
Dr. Willett diagnosed him with Schizophrenic Personality Disorder, and the court entered an order to try to “rehabilitate Defendant to competency.” Segerstrom was later re-evaluated by Dr. Melissa Wright at the Arkansas State Hospital, who concluded that the defendant was “a malingerer and fit to proceed.”
The court order addressing Segerstrom’s mental fitness noted that “the Defendant continually manipulated the prison staff with terrible behavior,” and that the record contained “many occasions” when he “acted out to get his way” until competency was raised by his defense team.
Segerstrom also told Dr. Wright that he planned to “game the system in the future” because he was tired of being in his cell.
Judge Mark Lindsay of the Circuit Court of Washington County, Sixth Division, found the defendant fit to proceed on March 7, 2022. The sentencing hearing will begin on August 24.