Sunday, April 17, 2011

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part LXXVII): Co-defendants in assault cases get probation

That's a front-page headline in the April 6, 2011, issue of the Newton County Times. It reports that a father-daughter pair of defendants who were charged with assaulting a couple who allegedly failed to pay their rent at the Dogwood Campground, have been sentenced to a year of probation. The 57-year-old father, who owns the campground, was charged with aggravated assault, a Class D felony, battery in the second degree, a Class D felony, and battery in the third degree, a Class A misdemeanor. The man was accused of holding the victim to the ground while his 21-year-old daughter and co-defendant held a rifer at the victim's head. Indeed, this is apparently how law enforcement officers found the defendants when they arrived at the scene of the altercation. In exchange for reducing the assault and battery charges against the man and his daughter, the co-defendants entered guilty pleas. In addition to a year of probation, each will pay a $500 fine.

In other crime news:
  • A 45-year-old man pleaded guilty to making and uttering hot checks and will serve a year's probation, in addition to paying a $100 fine and court costs.
  • A 31-year-old man pleased guilty to a Class D felony charge of non-support. The man will serve six years probation and must make restitution of nearly $17,000.
  • A 27-year-old man was charged with a Class B felony for agreeing to purchase and taking possession of "492 bales of hay valued at $9840 from Elvis Middleton" and having them delivered to Texas. Charges were dropped after the alleged thief made restitution.
In other news:
  • The county received an $81,000 Historic Preservation Restoration Grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage to replace the roof and upgrade the electrical service in the county courthouse. After taking bids, the roof work is proceeding.

  • The county Quorum Court passed a resolution necessary for the application for a grant to complete the Marble Falls Waste Water System Rehabilitation Project. The local governing body also adopted an appropriation ordinance: "a $7,098 grant from the Dept. of Finance and Administration for an intoximeter for the sheriff's office; $1,527.27 transferred form the Office of Emergency Services budget for communication training ...; and $40,631 for Newton County Courthouse Historical Preservation. Regarding the status of converting the former nursing home to a county jail, the sheriff reported that the project architect has recommended that the county remove asbestos from the building at a cost of $35,000. A total cost estimate for the building's rehabilitation is pending.

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