Hearing for accused serial killer delayed

By: Janet Kim Email
By: Janet Kim Email

An arraignment scheduled for an accused serial killer was delayed Thursday.

Michael Abner is accused of murdering three people in Pulaski County. Police arrested him last week after they say he killed a neighbor, 79-year-old Jack Roerink.

Police say he then confessed to killing two elderly women in the 1980's. The murders had been considered cold cases.

Abner showed up to court in Pulaski County Thursday, but the judge delayed the hearing until March 18.

Family and friends of victims were in the courtroom Thursday, including Katherine Smith, the granddaughter of Maime Mercer, one of the murder victims. Smith's brother Andy Mercer says at one time his sister and father were persons of interest during the case. He says Abner's confession was closure for their family, who suspected Abner all along.

The judge said Abner needed to undergo a competency exam first. The results are expected back by the next scheduled hearing.

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