Arkansas Courts

Billy Monroe Jones
Sebastian Co. Sheriff's Office

An Arkansas man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to capital murder in the fatal shooting of a sheriff's deputy earlier this year.

The Arkansas Supreme Court in 2015.
Arkansas Supreme Court

Should the seven justices on the Arkansas Supreme Court be elected? That’s been a central question of the Arkansas Bar Association’s 81-member House of Delegates for much of this year. The group, made of lawyers from around the state, will meet in December to decide on approving a proposed constitutional amendment drafted by a Bar Association task force that would create an appointment system for the justices. 

walmart wal-mart
Wal-Mart

Arkansas' highest court has banned a labor union from protesting or demonstrating at Wal-Mart's stores and offices in the state, scaling back a judge's order prohibiting the group from entering the retail giant's property for anything other than shopping.

Arkansas is asking the nation's highest court to not review a decision upholding the state's lethal injection law, saying the nine death row inmates challenging the ruling have not raised a federal claim in the case.

Ted Suhl
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The owner of two Arkansas mental health companies has been sentenced to seven years in prison for bribing a top official at the state's Human Services Department.

Prosecutors say Ted Suhl of Warm Springs was sentenced Thursday after being convicted in July of honest services wire fraud, interstate travel in aid of bribery and bribery involving federal program funds.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Givens says Suhl is to report to prison Jan. 3.

A judge has ordered the release of a 59-year-old man convicted of a killing that occurred in Arkansas more than 40 years ago.

The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that Dennis Lewis of Wichita, Kansas, was 17 years old when he fatally shot Jared Cobb during a robbery at a Springdale pawn shop in April 1974.

Lewis was convicted of capital murder and assault with the intent to rob in the case, and he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

judge joe boeckmann
Arkansas Times

A former Arkansas judge accused of bribery, fraud and witness tampering related to allegations he gave lighter sentences to male defendants in exchange for nude photos, spanking and other sexual acts has been released to the custody of family members.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Volpe agreed at a hearing Tuesday to release 70-year-old Joseph Boeckmann to relatives in Hot Springs. Federal prosecutors objected to his release because of the witness tampering charge.

Federal prosecutors oppose the release of a former Arkansas judge until his trial on charges of giving lighter sentences to defendants in exchange for nude photos and sexual acts.

The motion filed Friday says former Cross County District Judge Joseph Boeckmann has tried to bribe or threaten witnesses against him by using third parties, showing he "has both the ability and the willingness" to try to tamper with witnesses without personally contacting them.

Boeckmann's attorney had asked that he be allowed to live with relatives until his November trial.

A former Arkansas judge accused of giving lighter sentences to defendants in exchange for nude photos and sexual acts has been indicted on federal fraud and bribery charges.

The indictment against former Cross County District Court Judge Joseph Boeckmann was unsealed Monday. He's facing several charges, including wire fraud and witness tampering.

Boeckmann resigned in May after an investigation into allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with men accused of crimes dating back decades, to his time as a prosecutor.

The Arkansas attorney general's office is warning legislators not to explore alternative execution methods after the state's lethal injection protocol and execution secrecy law were found constitutional by Arkansas' high court.

The House Judiciary Committee considered Monday whether to approve a study on hypoxia- replacing the oxygen in a person's lungs with an inert gas like nitrogen- as a back-up method for executions. But the committee decided not to vote after a representative from the attorney general's office advised members to "let sleeping dogs lie."

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