A 25-year-old Cabot man accused of holding a McDonald's manager hostage in El Paso and threatening to stab her multiple times was appointed a public defender in White County Circuit Court last week.
Michael Wayne Fawcett told Judge Robert Edwards on Tuesday that he was not able to hire a lawyer due to having "mental issues. It's not for me to do. I'm in my mom's custody," he said.
Edwards appoint Ellen Reif as a public defender and set Fawcett's plea and arraignment for Dec. 3, a pre-trial for Jan. 8 and a jury trial for Feb. 12.
The class Y kidnapping and D felony aggravated assault charges Fawcett is facing follow Fawcett having pleaded guilty to class Y kidnapping and class B robbery charges filed against him in the case in Lonoke County. He was transferred to White County Detention Center from Lonoke County on Monday.
According to the affidavit by Detective Heather Meadows of the White County Sheriff's Office, Fawcett had taken a man from Lonoke County at knifepoint March 28 and forced him to drive them to the McDonald's in El Paso.
White County dispatch reportedly was notified by the Lonoke County Sheriff's Office, and Sgt. Paul Hofstad responded to the McDonald's.
He reportedly found a "Lonoke County detective giving demands to a heavyset white male" who was holding the female manager hostage "with a knife in his right hand."
Fawcett reportedly yelled, "I will [expletive] her up" and threatened to stab her 37 times.
"After several minutes of negotiating," Fawcett reportedly released the alleged victim, put down his weapon and was taken into custody.
Meadows wrote that she viewed camera footage of the incident and found that, prior to taking the alleged victim, Fawcett had approached two other McDonald's employees "and asked which of them wanted to be hostages."
In an interview with Meadows at the Lonoke County Sheriff's Department, Fawcett reportedly stated that he had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder but was not on his medication.
He said "he was depressed and using drugs," Meadows wrote. "He said he wanted to die in a 'suicide by cop' situation."
He reportedly admitted pointing his knife at two other McDonald's employees and taking the manager hostage, but said that "he didn't want to hurt anyone, and just wanted to provoke police to shoot him."
In the Lonoke County case, Fawcett reportedly was "holding a knife to his neck and jumping in front of vehicles" on Arkansas Highway 5 before being taken to El Paso.
Larry Laws, the driver of the vehicle, reportedly said Fawcett "approached him with a knife and demanded the keys to his vehicle" in the parking lot of the Mountain Springs Baptist Church on Highway 5. However, Fawcett couldn't drive the vehicle and Laws "was able to talk him down." Laws then offered to take him wherever Fawcett wanted to go and Fawcett said he wanted to go to the El Paso McDonald's.
During the standoff with Fawcett after he took a hostage, he told police that "all he wanted was his medical marijuana card and to get high," according to the affidavit.
He was sentenced to 20 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction for his offenses in Lonoke County.
White County Circuit Court
Who: Michael Wayne Fawcett, 25, of Cabot
Charges: Kidnapping, class Y felony, and three counts of aggravated assault, class D felony
Status: Public defender appointed; plea and arraignment set for Dec. 3