CONWAY, Ark. — The lawyer for a teen facing up to 20 years in prison for a brutal attack on an unsuspecting victim is speaking out.
Since we first posted the story on Monday, it has been viewed 84,000 times. It’s drawn more the 450 comments on Facebook. The overwhelming sentiment is that 16-year old suspect Kane Millsaps should be in jail. Said one poster: “lock him up and throw away the key.”
“The video is disturbing,” admitted Millsaps’ attorney Frank Shaw. “It caused me like everyone else that saw it a good bit of discomfort.”
The attack happened on May 31st in Conway. Millsaps was arrested the next day. He’s charged as an adult with 1st Degree Battery. It’s a felony with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
“If he gets the maximum sentence, which I hope he doesn’t, he’ll get out when he is 36 years old… then what?” Shaw questions.
Shaw would not comment on Millsaps’ mental health history, but the teen’s mother told us Monday he deals with mental issues and recently spent a year and a half at the juvenile detention center for fighting.
“It’s my opinion that this is an untreated 16 year old who needs help,” Shaw said.
Thursday, Shaw filed a motion asking the court for a mental evaluation saying he has “reasonable suspicion” Millsaps is “not fit to proceed forward with criminal proceedings.”
“The bigger question is why we as Arkansans don’t address mental health issues,” Shaw said.
Shaw says he hopes this case will cause Arkansans’ elected officials to increase funding for treatment.
“I think it’s a tragedy and it has caused not only my client to be incarcerated because of this but it’s also caused a victim to be injured.”
Asked about Shaw’s statements, prosecutor Cody Hiland issued the below statement.
“He’s going to get every opportunity to make his case to a Faulkner County jury. We’ll reserve our perspective on the issue until that time.”
Hiland has promised to prosecute Millsaps to the fullest extent of the law.
The 12-year-old victim in the attack suffered bruised right eye, cut on his neck and broken teeth.