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story.lead_photo.caption Kevin Wayne Clayborn

BENTONVILLE -- Proceedings were suspended today in the murder case of a Rogers man accused of killing his girlfriend.

Kevin Wayne Clayborn, 49, is charged with capital murder and theft of property. He previously pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He's accused of killing 48-year-old Misha Rivera. She died as result of trauma to her head and strangulation, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Tony Pirani, Clayborn's attorney, told Benton County Circuit Judge Robin Green they intend to use mental disease or defect as a defense in the case. Pirani requested a mental evaluation for his client.

The judge suspended the proceedings and ordered Clayborn to undergo a mental evaluation at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock.

Pirani also intends to have their expert conduct a private evaluation on Clayborn.

Pirani said they have been having difficulty obtaining relevant documents related to Clayborn in Oklahoma which will be useful in the evaluation. Stuart Cearley, chief deputy prosecutor, said if Pirani provides him with the information he will assist with obtaining the documents.

A mental status hearing is scheduled for June 20.

Family members found Rivera's body in her home May 5, according to court documents.

One person told police he read a passage in Rivera's journal about Clayborn having a strange look in his eyes and pushing her, according to the affidavit. Police found the journal in Rivera's home, but one page had been torn from it, according to court documents.

The theft charge involves Rivera's 2006 Volvo XC9, which was missing and later found in Van Buren, according to court documents.

Clayborn could be sentenced to life imprisonment or death if he's convicted of capital murder. He could be sentenced to three to 10 years in prison on the theft charge.

Clayborn is being held without bond in the Benton County Jail.

NW News on 03/15/2019

Print Headline: Man accused of murder seeks mental evaluation

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