Attorney for woman believes she experienced mental episode

JONESBORO, Ark. – Legal counsel for the woman accused of trying to take two children from parents last Friday in Jonesboro believes she was suffering a psychological breakdown of some kind.

Blytheville attorney Zach Morrison, who is representing suspect Melanie Carter, told District Judge Tommy Fowler that Carter was not a flight risk and should be granted bond due to her long standing ties in the area. Fowler granted a $10,000 bond while assigning an ankle monitor to be worn.

Morrison told NEA Report Carter has resided in Marked Tree for over 30 years, where he husband is a pastor and she works with the church youth group. He said approximately 25 different friends and family members of Carter showed up in the courtroom to support Carter during the bond hearing. Morrison said that from all indications Carter is a well-respected individual in the Marked Tree community and the incident of Friday has puzzled and surprised her family and friends.

“From all indicators, this is totally out of character for Mrs. Carter,” Morrison said. “Since being retained on her behalf I have literally had dozens of individuals who personally know Mrs. Carter reach out to me to offer support in various ways. She is a beloved member of her community. Her family and I are working with the proper healthcare professionals to try to understand what her mental state may have been when this occurred.”

A mental health evaluation was requested earlier Monday but family is still searching for answers as of this publication.

“We do not believe these incidents to be criminal acts, but something triggered by a mental health episode.”

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