Sunday, March 24, 2013

Law and Order in the Ozarks (CXIV): Criminal cases dismissed

The March 13, 2013 issue of the Newton County Times features two front-page headlines about criminal law and law enforcement.  The first is "Criminal cases dismissed" and the second, below the fold, is "Slape: Sheriff's Office operating day to day."

The first is the typical log of the disposition of various criminal matters.  Of some interest are the following:
  • John William Bass, 46, faced numerous charges stemming from a routine traffic stop in September, 2007.  Those included possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine); possession of drug paraphernalia; battery in the second degree; resisting arrest; driving on a suspended license; fleeing on foot; obstructing governmental operations; failure to pay regisrtation fee; driving left of center; no proof of liability insurance; no seat belt; no turn signal; DWI, drugs and "being a habitual offender."  A bench warrant was issued for his arrest in January, 2008.  Because Bass resided in Missouri, he had to be extradited to Newton County, where charges were formally filed only in February, 2013.  In spite of the laundry list of offenses and the five year wait, the court docket indicates that a motion to dismiss the case has been granted. 
  • Preston Lee Campbell, 50, was charged with second degree battery for allegedly cutting a man on the neck with a utility knife.  Campbell was reportedly responding to something the man said about Campbell's deceased sister.  A jury trial was scheduled for February 8, but the state's motion to dismiss the matter was granted.
  • Ryan Lessley Campbell was charged with "various domestic related charges" including theft of property, domestic battery in the third degree, four counts of aggravated assault, two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, and criminal mischief.  Court records include a hand-written statement from the victim asking that the charges be dropped.  The judge granted the victim's request. 
  • Donnie Kolb, 48, and Sheila Kolb, 50, both of Marble Falls, were charged in Nov. 2011 as co-defendants along with another individual and with manufacturing a controlled substance, marijuana, and with possession of a firearm.  The contraband was discovered when officers arrived to conduct a parole visit with the third person, who was living in the Kolb home.  The officers saw two marijuana plants growing in plain view, "next to a mowed area."  The firearms were found hanging on a wall in the bedroom the couple shared.  The state moved on Feb. 19 to dismiss the charges against the Kolbs because the third co-defendant had admitted his culpability in the commission of these crimes.  
  • Buddy Truelove, 45, of Jasper was charged in Nov., 2011, with possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and with possession of drug paraphernalia.  The charges stem from incidents on April 7, 2011, when law enforcement officers and a bondsman went to Truelove's residence to pick him up on a warrant.  Officers found two spoons, one with suspected meth residue and the other with suspected "meth rock" on it.  The officers found a smoking pipe in Truelove's pants.  They also found a light bulb that had been broken and cut to be used as a smoking device; it contained a residue believed to be meth.  The officers also took a bag containing five syringes.  Truelove subsequently entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to a year of probation and a suspended imposition of sentence.  He was find $1000 and ordered to pay court costs.      
  • Roger Campbell, 51, of Hasty, was charged in June, 2011, with forgery in the first degree.  Campbell later pleaded no contest and was given a sentence of 8 years in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections, followed by a two-year suspended sentence.  He must pay $550 in restitution in addition to court costs. The sentence will run concurrent with other cases against Campbell in Newton and Boone counties.  
The second story, about the Sheriff's Department, is hardly news.  I have reported previously on the difficult circumstances under which the office is operating, specifically with warrants not being served since the county has no jail in which to house prisoners and it must pay neighboring counties when inmates must be housed.  Here's an excerpt from the story:
Sheriff Keith Slape said his main concern is his aging fleet of patrol vehicles, the newest of which has 92,000 miles on its odometer.  Last year the sheriff was able to lease two used parol cars from Washington County.   
In addition to the costs of keeping vehicles on the road mechanically, there is the continuing rise in the cost of fuel, he lamented. 
The county has been experiencing a rash of break-ins and in particular the theft of recyclable metals, the sheriff said.  One tool in fighting this type of crime are surveillance camera, primary [sic] the outdoor type used to spot game animals.  This has been one security measure property owners have employed that has helped people.   
Similar surveillance methods were put to use last year when there were a number of suspected arson fires that destroyed older and unoccupied houses.  While there were not any arrests made in those investigations, some suspects were identified and the fires stopped occurring, Slape said.  
Related stories are here and here.

No comments: