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story.lead_photo.caption Joshua Lee Anderson, 25, Garfield, Benton County, capital murder

BENTONVILLE -- A judge Tuesday ordered a mental evaluation of a Garfield man accused of killing a 2-year-old girl.

Joshua Lee Anderson, 25, is charged with capital murder, and, if convicted, faces life imprisonment without the benefit of parole or a death sentence.

He's accused of killing Sephylia Fuls, who prosecutors say died Sept. 4, 2018, of blunt force trauma. He pleaded innocent to the charge.

Defense attorneys filed a motion last week requesting a mental evaluation. Benton County Circuit Judge Brad Karren granted the request.

The evaluation will be at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock. The evaluation will determine whether Anderson is criminally responsible in the case and whether he's mentally fit to stand trial.

A mental status hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Nov. 10.

Anderson was the boyfriend of Sephylia's mother.

Springdale police were called at 8:44 p.m., Sept. 4, 2018, to the Chapel Ridge Apartments by firefighters after the girl was unresponsive, according to a police statement after the initial report of the girl's death.

She was pronounced dead at Northwest Medical Center-Springdale.

The child's mother, Veronica McCoy, told police she returned to the apartment from a trip to a convenience store and found Anderson holding Sephylia's 5-year-old brother and accusing the boy of hitting her, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Anderson told investigators a different story, including the brother pushed the girl. Sephylia's two brothers -- the other was 3 years old -- were interviewed at the Children's Advocacy Center of Benton County. Those interviews implicated Anderson, according to the affidavit.

A child abuse specialist pediatrician at Arkansas Children's Hospital determined the girl died as a result of physical abuse, according to the affidavit.

Anderson is also charged in another case with aggravated assault, battery, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental operations. Anderson is accused of having a machete and chasing another man, according to court documents.

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

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