Arkansas Courts

Local & Regional News
5:55 am
Wed August 21, 2013

2 Convicted In Arkansas Adoption Fraud Ordered To Pay $1.2M

A former co-owner and a former employee of a closed Little Rock adoption agency have been ordered to pay more than $1.2 million in restitution and penalties to former clients and the state of Arkansas.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says a Pulaski County judge on Tuesday ordered the payments by former Adoption Advantage owner Donna Gail Hight and ex-employee Jacklyn Potter.

They were convicted in April of deceptive trade practices after prosecutors said prospective adoptive parents paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees for adoptions that never took place.

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Local & Regional News
6:12 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Faulkner Sheriff 'Disappointed' In Sentence For Ex-opponent

Faulkner County Sheriff Andy Shock says he wanted his former election opponent to get a stiffer sentence for creating a false birth certificate.

On Friday, 47-year-old Harold Allen Smith of Greenbrier was sentenced to a month in federal prison followed by a year of supervised release.

The Log Cabin Democrat reports that Shock says he's content to accept the judge's decision but says he's "disappointed" in the sentence.

Smith was accused of faking a birth certificate to make it appear that Shock had fathered a child in Texas.

Local & Regional News
2:34 pm
Tue August 13, 2013

Arkansas Secretary Of State Plans Appeal Of Judge's Ruling On Private Attorneys

The Arkansas Secretary of State plans to appeal a Pulaski County judge’s ruling over the office’s use of private lawyers in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

On Monday, Judge Tim Fox disqualified the private attorneys Secretary of State Mark Martin hired for $200 an hour to represent him in a lawsuit filed by plaintiff Matt Campbell, an attorney and political blogger who says Martin did not comply with his requests for certain records.

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Local & Regional News
9:21 am
Sat August 10, 2013

Faulkner Co. Man Runs But Can't Hide From Latest Conviction

The moral of this story is the moment when the jury says, “Guilty” is not a good time to lose track of the defendant.

Twenty-four year old Rolandis Chatmon already had three previous felony convictions and a record of bad behavior in prison.

So, when a Faulkner County Circuit Court jury came back with a guilty verdict on three new counts of aggravated armed robbery and one theft-of-property charge, he knew the penalty would be bad.

So, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports, he ran.

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Local & Regional News
6:58 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Judge Won't Delay Ex-Officer's Little Rock Trial

A judge in Pulaski County has refused a request from prosecutors to delay the upcoming manslaughter trial for a former Little Rock officer accused in the fatal shooting of a teenager.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen issued an order Tuesday denying the request for a delay in the retrial of ex-officer Josh Hastings.

Hastings is set to go on trial in September after a jury deadlocked in June. He's charged in the shooting death of 15-year-old Bobby Moore III.

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Local & Regional News
5:59 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Woman Sues Over Handcuffed Son's Death in Arkansas

The mother of a young man who police say fatally shot himself while handcuffed in the back of a patrol car has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Lawyers for Chavis Carter's mother, Teresa Rudd, filed the lawsuit on Friday in in federal court in Jonesboro.

The lawsuit seeks damages for medical expenses and loss of life. It comes a year after Carter's death and names the city of Jonesboro, its police chief and two officers as defendants.

Local & Regional News
4:32 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Legal Maneuvering Continues Over Arkansas Abortion Ban

The Washington Post reports that Arkansas is one of 10 states where important legal fights are being waged over abortion rights. 

Last week, Attorneys for two Little Rock abortion providers asked a federal judge to strike down a new Arkansas law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

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Local & Regional News
6:27 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Ex-Little Rock Officer's Trial Scheduled To Start

Trial is scheduled to begin for a former Little Rock police officer charged with escorting what he thought was a shipment of marijuana across the city.

Randall Tremayn Robinson is to go on trial Monday in Little Rock. He has pleaded not guilty.

Robinson and his half brother former officer Mark Anthony Jones - allegedly drove marked patrol cars to escort vans that an undercover agent claimed were carrying marijuana that had arrived from California.

Local & Regional News
6:25 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Woman In SAU Horse Theft To Be Tried For Rustling

A woman already serving a prison sentence in the theft of rodeo horses from Southern Arkansas University is to be tried in a separate cattle theft case.

Trial is to begin Monday in Little River County for Wendi Cox. She is accused of stealing 15 heifers worth more than $10,000 from an East Ogden Ranch.

Prosecutors say the animals were sold at an Idabel, Okla., stockyard. The Texarkana Gazette reports Prosecutor Bryan Chesshir offered Cox a plea bargain but she rejected the deal and asked for a bench trial.

Local & Regional News
10:50 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Filing: Shoffner Plans To Plead Not Guilty

Martha Shoffner
Credit Danny Johnston / AP Photo

Former Arkansas Treasurer Martha Shoffner says she plans to plead not guilty to charges she accepted cash payments from a bond broker to whom she steered state investments, but a federal judge says she can't skip a hearing to enter that plea. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Volpe denied Shoffner's request to waive her appearance at an arraignment hearing scheduled for later this week. Volpe's order was dated Friday, but wasn't entered into the court system until Monday.

Shoffner and her attorney said in a filing with the court that she planned to plead not guilty.

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