BENTON COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A man accused of attempted murder and battery in connection to two assault cases has pleaded not guilty.
Gareeno Christopher Mackey, 35, was arrested on Sept. 12 and is charged with attempted capital murder, aggravated residential burglary, first-degree domestic battery, theft of property, second-degree domestic battery and two counts of aggravated assault on a family or household member.
Additionally, Mackey faces enhanced penalties for offenses committed in the presence of children.
Mackey is accused of stabbing his ex-wife before stealing her car and cutting his girlfriend with a machete. He was named in two separate cases, but they were combined. He pleaded not guilty to all charges during an arraignment on Nov. 14.
Court documents say that Springdale police were dispatched to 3757 Baltic St. on the morning of Sept. 12 in regard to a stabbing.
Once on the scene, the victim, Mackey’s ex-wife, was located by police. She explained that “my ex-husband tried to kill me.” Mackey was divorced from the victim on Nov. 1, 2022.
Three witnesses were found near the scene and told police that they heard the victim’s cry for help and attempted to slow the bleeding. The victim had been stabbed in the back, chest and stomach. Police also noted marks around her neck consistent with strangulation.
The victim was soon after rushed into surgery. Her family later told police that she had been stabbed six time and had a collapsed lung. She was put on a ventilator while recovering.
Witnesses told police that Mackey left the scene in the victim’s car, a GMC Yukon valued at $80,000, which was later located around a block away from Mackey’s residence.
Springdale police contacted the Bentonville Police Department asking them to check Mackey’s residence. Bentonville police reported that they were already working a case involving Mackey in which he had cut his girlfriend with a machete.
Mackey’s girlfriend told police that he made statements about going to Springdale to kill his ex-wife.
After the ex-wife was taken off the ventilator, she gave police access to her phone in order to watch the security footage of the incident, which showed Mackey at her residence at the time of the incident.
Mackey has been ordered not to contact the victims and to not possess any sharp objects, including knives or machetes.
Court documents say that Mackey is from Nassau, Bahamas, and has been there in the past year. The victim and her family expressed concern that if released, Mackey would flee the country.
Bond was set at a total $1.65 million and Mackey was ordered to surrender his passport to the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.
Court documents filed in September say that Mackey faces a potential death penalty verdict, and that trial publicity will be limited. The prosecution, defense, the Arkansas medical examiner, the Arkansas State Crime Lab and all law enforcement agencies are barred from commenting on the case to the public.
Mackey has an omnibus hearing scheduled for Feb. 14, 2024, in Benton County.
Click here to read KNWA/FOX24’s original coverage of the incident.