The Springdale man accused of strangling 21-year-old Nina Ingram in 2006 is set to undergo a mental evaluation before the start of his trial, which may be delayed.
Washington County Circuit Court Judge William Storey has ordered Rico Cohn, 26, to participate in a mental evaluation at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock on Sept. 16, according to Storey’s order from the Washington County Circuit Clerk’s office. Cohn’s capital murder trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 23, although they may be again delayed.
The order for a mental evaluation states defense attorneys have “reason to believe that mental disease or defect will become an issue in the case.”
Cohn pleaded not guilty in June 2012 to a capital murder charge. Court dates set for last August, Jan. 7 and May 20 have all been delayed, according to court documents from the Circuit Clerk’s office. Cohn remains in the Washington County Detention Center without bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website.
Investigators were led to Cohn as the result of a lead generated by media coverage of the case, according to police.
Ingram, a business student at NorthWest Arkansas Community Colllege, was found strangled April 22, 2006, in her apartment at what then was known as the Law Quad Apartments at 701 W. Sycamore St. The complex is now called Club at the Creek.
One of her brothers and his friend found her body after they crawled through an unlocked window, police said. They went to the apartment to check on Ingram after the family couldn’t reach her by phone.
Despite continued investigating by police, Ingram’s murder had gone unsolved for six years. In April, a new detective was assigned to work solely on solving the case.