Danny Buchanan has been declared competent to stand trial. A pretrial hearing date of April 16 has been set for Buchanan, 37, a Salem man who has been charged with the first degree murder of his father, 65-year-old Jerry Buchanan.
Buchanan was initially seen at the Arkansas State Hospital for an outpatient forensic evaluation Dec. 6. But the evaluation could not be completed at the time after Buchanan, who said he was acting on the advice of his attorney, Michael Loggains, refused to sign release forms to obtain his medical records.
In January Loggains instructed his client to sign the required release form and he was admitted to the Arkansas State Hospital for further evaluation.
The report said he was well aware of the charge he is facing. Arrangements were made to interview him on March 5 with his attorney present. Loggains has declined comment on his client's case at this time.
The report says Buchanan made statements that he was convinced he was being followed by his wife's ex-husband. He claimed drug dealers were out to get his wife. It was noted he thought his wife was putting drugs in his food.
Buchanan reportedly had a long history of mental health treatment. Information gathered from his mother said his behavior became unusual when he was about 16 years old. His mother reported that he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia. The results of the evaluation indicated he suffers from schizophrenia, paranoid type. He has not held a job since the age of 18 and has been receiving disability payments for his mental illness since his early 20s.
On the day before the alleged crime Buchanan failed to take his medication and appeared to be in crisis during an appointment at a clinic, according to records from the North Arkansas Human Services System. Center notes indicate his appearance was disheveled and his mood was depressed. He appeared to be paranoid and exhibited disorganized thought processes at times. He was believed to be psychotic and in need of hospitalization for stabilization.
He was referred to St. Bernard's Behavioral Health in Jonesboro for assessment and admission. But he was never admitted to the facility. He claims the hospital refused to admit him, but his mother said it was he who refused to be admitted.
According to an affidavit filed in the Fulton County clerk's office, Buchanan reportedly spoke to a dispatcher at the Fulton County Hospital July 24, 2001, and told her he had just killed his father. The dispatcher alerted law enforcement agents that the suspect repeated the statement three times.
Officers went to the victim's residence in Camp and found the suspect in front of the residence.
Officers found the victim lying on the floor of the home, a 12-gauge shotgun wound to the chest. Officers discovered a shotgun on the hallway floor, adjacent to the kitchen.
The Fulton County coroner pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
The suspect was interviewed at the Fulton County Sheriff's Office where he told law enforcement officers he had shot and killed his father. He allegedly told officers he believed his father was the cause of the problems he was having.
During a search of the victim's residence, agents found evidence that supported Buchanan's statement.
A nearby witness told agents he saw the suspect enter the victim's residence.
Later the witness recounted that he heard a noise he described as a gunshot. He told authorities the only vehicle he saw at the victim's residence belonged to the victim.