Cedar Rapids man charged with murder to undergo psychiatric evaluation; trial suspended

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 3:20 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - On June 27th, an order was filed to suspend a murder trial for a Cedar Rapids man so that he could undergo a psychiatric evaluation

Arthur Flowers is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Emily Leonard. Court documents say that Flowers no longer trusts his attorneys and wants to get a new attorney.

The court reportedly informed Flowers a new attorney would need more than four days to prepare his defense and that he should explore the benefits of waiving a speedy trial. Flowers opposed any waiver and stated he would represent himself.

When the court pressed Flowers on his own education and credentials, as he claimed he have attended 6 or 7 colleges and that he started attending when he was 11-years-old, but was unable to name specifics.

Flowers reportedly informed the court that he had represented himself in jury trials on three different murder charges and that he had been acquitted by each jury.

Based on specific statements made by Mr. Flowers at the hearing, the court had his statements evaluated by a mental health professional and the court found probable cause to believe that a competency issue exists.

On Monday, an emergency meeting was held, and the court elected to suspend Flower’s murder trial so that a psychiatric evaluation could be held to determine whether or not he is suffering from a mental disorder that prevents him from appreciating the charge, understanding the proceedings, or assisting effectively in his defense.

The court issued that Flower’s public defenders shall continue to represent Mr. Flowers at this time. In the event Flowers is determined to be competent, he may renew his motion to remove the public defenders as his attorneys.

Flower’s competency evaluation is scheduled for July 29th, 2022.

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