Monday, September 6, 2010

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part LXVII): Middleton sentenced for role in plot to kidnap sheriff's son

The August 25 and Sept. 1 issues of the Newton County Times offer relatively little law and order news, beyond a front-page story about the sentencing of David Middleton, 54, to 60 years in prison. Middleton pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his role in "an apparent plot to kidnap" the Sheriff's son. Middleton was sentenced to this time in state prison "in conjunction with the federal time he is now serving in drug cases." Read earlier related posts here and here.

The August 25 paper also reports on other criminal cases recently adjudicated. These include one against a 53-year-old man for possession of methamphetamine with intent to deliver, a Class Y felony, and possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class B felony. The state has now dropped charges against the man because charges against the man for the same offense is proceeding in federal court.

In another matter, a 25-year-old man was charged with manufacturing marijuana and intent to deliver it. In July, he entered a guilty plea to these charges, which stemmed from an incident in Oct. 2009.

A 53-year-old man was given a suspended sentence on drug charges pending completion of the district court's drug program. He allegedly violated various drug court rules.

Christopher Waits, the 31-year-old son in law of David Middleton, was charged in July 2009 with criminal attempt to manufacture methamphetamine. These charges arose from a May 2009 incident when a search warrant was served at the David Middleton home, where Waits was present. Following a guilty plea, Waits was sentenced to three years in state prison. He was credited with 287 days fail time already served and sentenced $500 and ordered to pay court costs and fees.

Finally, a 52-year-old man who was charged in May 2009 with aggravated assault and resisting arrest when he "got a Browning .22 caliber rifle and held it in a ready position with his hand next to the trigger behind the front door" when law enforcement officers were serving him with a warrant for failure to appear. The man pleaded no contest and was sentenced to six years in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections, which is being served concurrently with sentenced handed down in neighboring Madison County. He was credited with 442 days of jail time.

In other news:
  • Western Grove classrooms near completion. Western Grove is one of four schools in the county
  • Newton County under ban burn. This is due to a high danger of wildfire because of hot and dry weather conditions.
  • Area soldier killed in Afghanistan. This the second soldier from neighboring Boone County to be killed in service in the past six months.
  • Mt. Judea school offers welding certification.
  • $124,000 loan for Jasper sewer plant. The loan, from the USDA, will be used to rehabilitate the Jasper waste water treatment plant.

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