Movement on the murder case against a former Tahlequah doctor has crawled to a standstill, with all proceedings suspended for the time being.

According to Arkansas court records, Tyler Tait was to undergo an examination by a qualified psychologist as he filed notice that he intends to rely on the defense of mental disease or defect.

Tait, 35, who previously worked as a physician with Cherokee Nation Health Services, pleaded not guilty last November to first-degree murder charges in the death of 37-year-old Moria Kinsey, a nurse who had worked with Tait at some point.

Tait was arrested by special agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division. Tait was taken into custody at Lake Village, Arkansas, and was held at the Chicot County Jail.

Chicot County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a woman in need of medical assistance on Oct. 11, 2021. Kinsey was lying outside the vehicle parked alongside U.S. Highway 65, approximately two miles north of Lake Village. Tait was found near the vehicle. Kinsey was transported to an area hospital and was pronounced dead at 2:18 p.m., one or two hours following the 911 call.

An affidavit filed in Chicot County, Arkansas, alleges Tait called authorities and claimed Kinsey was having a seizure. But state police special agents examined the vehicle in which Tait and Kinsey had been traveling from Mississippi to Tahlequah, and found evidence of a physical altercation inside.

Kinsey’s body was transported to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory where, according to online court documents, the manner and cause of death have not technically been released to the court yet.

However, documents filed in August state that a report of the medical examiner asserts strangulation, and according to the court documents, statements by the prosecuting attorney to Tait’s attorneys alleged the cause of death was a “karate chop.”

Tait surrendered his Oklahoma Osteopathic Medical License on Nov. 4, 2021, due to the first-degree murder charge.

Online court documents state that Tait, a pretrial detainee, is being held in the Delta Regional Unit of the Arkansas Division of Correction.

Tait was slated for a forensic evaluation Oct. 14 in Little Rock, Arkansas. That latest on the case since the evaluation hasn’t been disclosed in online records.

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