Monday, April 23, 2012

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part XCVIII): Catching up

The April 4, 2012 issue of the Newton County Times reviews recently adjudicated criminal cases. They include:
  • 27-year old woman charged with helping steal a 2005 F150 Ford pick up truck pled guilty to an amended charge of misdemeanor theft of property.  
  • A 41-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman were charged with two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor.  The charges are based on testimony the two smoked methamphetamine in front of their two small children.  At the same time, one of the children was seen to have sores on one leg and a burn on one arm.  The cases have been transferred to district court.
  • A 25-year old man was sentenced to 121 months in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections after reaching a plea agreement to multiple drug offenses, including attempted manufacture of methamphetamine.  The defendant was observed last summer traveling to stores in Missouri and Arkansas to purchase lithium batteries, ammonium nitrate and other ingredients used to purchase methamphetamine.  The man allegedly told an undercover agent with the Arkansas State Police that he would "cook" some meth and sell it to the agent.  During the attempt, the shed the man was using as "a lab exposed and caught fire due to an open flame igniting some solvents. ... The mixture was ruined."  The same man has been charged with three counts of delivery of methamphetamine.  The man was also fined $1000 and ordered to pay court costs.  
  • A 22-year-old man was arrested for being in possession of a car stolen in Missouri.  The car continued drug paraphernalia.  The man was sentenced to a year of probation and fined and ordered to pay costs totaling $1320.  
  • A 43-year-old man was sentenced to seven years in the Arkansas Dept. of Corrections and fined $1000 in relation to his burglary of a Murray home.  The burglary was interrupted with the owner of the home returned, and the man got into a physical altercation with a man accompanying the owner.  The man convicted of the crime has also been ordered to pay $465 in restitution.  A case against a woman who accompanied the man in the burglary has  not yet been adjudicated.
  • A 19-year-old man was sentenced to 6 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections after he pleaded guilty to manufacture of methamphetamine and criminal trespass.   He was also fined $1000 and ordered to pay court costs.  
  • A claim against Jerrimie Brown, previous charged with theft of property, was dismissed after investigation revealed the underlying matter to be a civil dispute.  
  • A 31-year-old man was charged with non-support and placed on probation for three years.  He must pay restitution in the amount of $16,903.64.
In other news, the county got the first of its "911 signs."  These signs mark roads according to the new 911 addressing system.  The truck being used to erect the signs is "specially outfitted" for this purpose and "was provided through grant funds awarded to the county."  The story does not report the source of those funds but indicates that Newton County is the "last in the state to replace route and HCR box numbers with physical addresses countywide."

Also, the April 18, 2012 issue of the paper reports that the Sheriff is offering a $1000 reward for evidence leading to those responsible for a rash of suspicious fires.  To date, the fires have destroyed nine structures--eight unoccupied houses and a trailer that was formerly used to store hay.  Most of the structures have been family homesteads with "historic value to their families" the Sheriff explained.  Some members of those families are cooperating to offer the reward.  Meanwhile, the Sheriff is intensifying patrols in the part of the county where most of the fires have occurred, specifically Vendor, Hasty and Mt. Judea.  

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