Marty Alvard, 40, of Green Forest faces a possible death penalty today as jurors begin deliberating his fate.

Alvard testified Monday that he killed his mother-in-law, Janice Allen, 60, of Berryville by hitting her in the head with a baseball bat, then cutting her throat. He said he didn’t know why.

The cut, which opened her aorta and windpipe, has been likened to the way hunters bleed out deer, but Alvard, an avid hunter, said he had never bled out a deer.

Tuesday ended after the prosecution called two rebuttal witnesses. One was Alvard’s oldest son, Jordan, 19, who said he had seen his dad bleed out a deer once.

The other was construction co-worker Randy Waggoner, who testified that after the killing, Alvard brought his estranged wife, Jo Ann Alvard, to the job site and said he was going to kill her but “there wouldn’t be anybody to take care of the kids” if their mother and grandmother were both gone.

The jury heard testimony most of the day Tuesday from competing mental health experts about whether Alvard was legally responsible for his actions.

If the jury convicts Alvard of capital murder, it will then decide whether to sentence him to life in prison without parole or to execution by lethal injection.

Circuit Judge Kent Crow told the jurors to be sure and pack a bag before they came to court today because if they don’t finish their work, he is going to sequester them at a local hotel or motel.

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