Arkansas Courts

Timothy Lamont Howard
Arkansas Times

An Ashdown man reconvicted in the 1997 slaying of a couple could be eligible for release due to time already spent behind bars.

Timothy Lamont Howard recently was found guilty on lesser charges in the deaths of Brian Day and Shannon Day and attempted killing of the couple's son.

The Texarkana Gazette reports Howard was convicted in 1999, but it was overturned in 2013. He has been in custody since December 1997, which is around 17 years and five months.

Timothy Lamont Howard
Arkansas Times

An Ashdown man has again been convicted, but on lesser charges, of killing a couple and trying to kill the couple's 7-month-old son.

 The Texarkana Gazette reports that 45-year-old Timothy Howard was found guilty Friday on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder. He was sentenced to 38 years in prison.

Timothy Lamont Howard
Arkansas Times

Witnesses have testified in the capital murder trial of a man charged in the 1997 deaths of an Ashdown couple that the deceased were methamphetamine users.

Timothy Lamont Howard is on trial for the second time in the deaths of Brian and Shannon Day and for attempted murder of the couple's 7-month-old son. Prosecutors have said Timothy Lamont Howard killed Shannon Day because she thought she was pregnant with Howard's child and that he killed Brian Day for money.

His convictions were overturned in 2013 because of new evidence the defense didn't have in his first trial.

A former central Arkansas circuit court judge has voluntarily surrendered his license to avoid a disciplinary hearing.

The Arkansas Supreme Court accepted the surrender Thursday from Michael Maggio, barring him from practicing law in Arkansas. The Faulkner County judge pleaded guilty to bribery earlier this year.

Maggio pleaded guilty in January for accepting campaign donations from a nursing home owner and a lobbyist in exchange for reducing the award from a wrongful death lawsuit. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

A challenge by several death row inmates to a new Arkansas law aimed at resuming executions is being moved to federal court at the request of the state's attorney general.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge on Friday moved to have the lawsuit pulled from Pulaski County court, saying the inmates' complaints that the new law violates the U.S. Constitution would be better suited before a federal judge. An attorney for the inmates on Monday said he has 30 days to contest the move, and said he hasn't decided whether to do so.

Arkansas Supreme Court

The Arkansas Supreme Court has decided a separate case is needed before they can determine the legality of same-sex marriage - a move that will likely push the consideration until after the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the same topic.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday ruled a new case is needed to decide whether a justice sworn in in January should help decide whether gay marriage is legal in Arkansas. Justices originally heard oral arguments in November.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in April and have a decision by late June.

A judge has ruled that a man who is charged in the kidnapping and killing of a Little Rock real estate agent will be allowed to represent himself.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that 34-year-old Arron Lewis won his request after Judge Herbert Wright accepted a mental evaluation last week that deemed Lewis fit for trial.

When questioned about his ability to represent himself, Lewis said that he has some college education and that he can read and write. He also mentioned that he had "won a lawsuit against Benton County."

A lawsuit seeking to stop construction of a steel mill in northeast Arkansas has been dismissed.

U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit by Nucor Steel against Big River Steel. Holmes ruled that the citizen lawsuit under the federal Clean Air Act is not authorized and that his court has no jurisdiction.

Nucor claimed Big River Steel has violated the Clean Air Act. Big River Steel countered that the mill is still under construction and not operational, so it can't be emitting anything to violate the act.

On Tuesday Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright ruled that Arkansas's criminal eviction law violates both the Arkansas and U.S. Constitutions. The order only applies to Pulaski County. The statute concerns the way in which landlords and tenants settle disputes over non-payment of rent and eviction proceedings.

KUAR's Chris Hickey spoke with attorney Jason Auer, part of a four person legal team which challenged the law.

The Supreme Court is siding with a Muslim prison inmate in Arkansas who sued for the right to grow a short beard for religious reasons.

The court's unanimous ruling Tuesday in a case about religious liberty stands in contrast to the Hobby Lobby case that bitterly divided the justices in June over whether family-owned corporations could mount religious objections to paying for women's contraceptives under the health care overhaul.