Date for murder trial won't be set until after evaluations

Capital murder suspect Joshua Crawford Tew is lead from a Houston County courtroom following a hearing held September 5, 2017.
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Dothan (WTVY)-- A judge indicated Tuesday he’ll await mental evaluations before setting a capital murder trial date for Joshua Crawford Tew. He’s accused of beating a woman with a piece of lumber before dumping her in a remote area of Houston County.

Tew was arrested November 1, 2016 for the alleged murder of 36-year old Amanda Bonds, also known as Amanda Anderson, though her body wasn’t discovered until two weeks later. They theorize she was still alive when her body was placed in a wooded area near the Florida line.

Tew, 29, pleaded not guilty by reason of mental defect. Both prosecutors and defense attorneys sought mental evaluations and Houston County Circuit Judge Brad Mendheim ordered them. It’s not immediately clear when they’ll be completed.

During Tuesday’s hearing a series of motions, most of them routine, were also considered and ruled on by Mendheim.

One asked that death penalty possibility removed from the table. Defense attorneys SeanMcGhee and Ben Freeman cited a Florida law that could potentially impact capital murder punishment Alabama. “We’ll abide by whatever the law is at the time,” Mendheim said.

Tew, who showed no emotion during the 45-minute hearing, is held in the Houston County Jail without bond.