FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A Lincoln City man charged with attempted murder in the alleged stabbing of a Washington County probation officer will use his “mental disease or defect” in his defense, according to a new court filing.
Zachry Seward, 31, is accused of attacking a Washington County probation officer in her office on June 28. He is charged with attempted capital murder and third degree battery.
On August 26, Seward filed a motion to replace his court-appointed attorney with defense attorney Ramon Bertucci. Seward’s new counsel filed three more motions with the court that same day.
First, Bertucci filed a notice of intent to “rely on the defense of mental disease or defect,” and he cited two relevant Arkansas statutes. He also requested that the defendant be examined to determine if he is fit to proceed.
In that filing, Bertucci stated that he had “good cause to believe that there is a reasonable suspicion that the defendant…is not fit to proceed to trial.” The last filing asked the court to also order a Criminal Responsibility Examination.
The court has yet to rule on these motions. On August 29, the prosecution filed a motion of discovery, asking for any “written papers, journals, or logs” that the defense may introduce at trial, as well as any audio recordings, videos, transcripts or expert testimony that may arise.
On June 28, Seward allegedly parked his vehicle in front of the Washington Couty Circuit Court, left it running, and ran to the front door of the building. He reportedly went to a probation officer’s office and stabbed her twice in the left leg and once at the base of the skull behind the right ear.
Seward was a probationer and the officer he allegedly stabbed was his former parole officer. Seward “graduated the drug court program” in 2018 and was off probation for approximately five months. Investigators note that he had no reason to appear in the drug court building on June 28.
Seward was arraigned on July 27 and entered not guilty pleas to charges of attempted capital murder and third degree battery over Zoom on August 8. He was booked into the Washinton County jail on June 28 on a $500,000 bond.
Seward’s trial is scheduled to begin on October 11.