Lawyer says doctor accused of murder-for-hire mentally ill

GREENWOOD — The lawyer for an oncologist charged with capital murder says Dr. Arnold Smith is severely mentally ill and unable to adequately defend himself against charges in an alleged murder-for-hire plot.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports Circuit Judge Breland Hilburn took under advisement a motion from the defense to send Smith to a mental health hospital for treatment.

In the motion, Smith’s defense team cited a report from Dr. Gilbert S. Macvaugh III of Greenville, whom it hired to give psychological tests to Smith.

Smith is charged with murder as the alleged instigator of a plot that ended with the death of gunman Keaira Byrd and the serious wounding Derrick Lacy. Byrd allegedly had been hired to kill attorney Lee Abraham, who represented Smith’s ex-wife in their divorce years ago.

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