Arkansas Crime

A convicted killer from Arkansas has died in suburban Detroit, 47 years after he visited Michigan on a brief furlough - and never returned to prison.

Lester Stiggers was 68 years old. His daughter, L'Donne Hampton, tells The Associated Press that he died Saturday at his apartment in Warren, probably from a heart attack.

Stiggers made headlines in 2013 when Arkansas asked Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder to send him back. It was the first time in years that Arkansas had expressed interest in Stiggers, who entered Michigan in 1970 and worked as a plumber and auto worker.

Sending children to the principal's office has long been a traditional punishment for unruly students. But Principal Michelle Hutton at Elmdale Elementary in Springdale offers safe haven where children can talk about what's troubling them, including traumatic events.

Elmdale faculty and staff have partnered with Ozark Guidance, a regional community mental health center, to learn how to assess students struggling with trauma to provide them proper help.

Lonoke County Sheriff's Office

One man is in custody and Arkansas authorities are searching for a second suspect following a Christmas Day shooting in which one person was killed, another wounded and a woman was kidnapped.

Thirty-three-year-old Richard Gilliam of Little Rock was being held without bond Tuesday at the Lonoke County jail on charges that include capital murder.

Lonoke County sheriff's officials say Gilliam was one of two men who entered a home early Monday in Scott, just southeast of Little Rock, and began firing at people inside.

John Rogers
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas sports memorabilia collector has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for what a federal judge in Chicago described as a "breathtaking" fraud.

John Rogers of North Little Rock, Arkansas, pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud. Prosecutors have said Rogers defrauded investors by offering a phony Heisman Trophy as collateral for a $100,000 loan.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports prosecutors say Rogers continued to commit fraud after entering his guilty plea, this time involving a phony Super Bowl I game ball.

Morgan Nick
Wikipedia

Authorities are searching an eastern Oklahoma property that was searched years ago in connection with the 1995 disappearance of a 6-year-old Arkansas girl.

Investigators aren't saying whether this week's search is connected to the unsolved abduction of Morgan Nick, for whom Arkansas' missing-child alert system is named.

The search is taking place in Spiro, Oklahoma, about 25 miles southwest of the Arkansas town of Alma where Morgan was last seen at a baseball field. Investigators say Morgan was abducted from a Little League game as she chased fireflies with friends.

flickr.com

Federal court documents made public Monday cite an unnamed former Arkansas legislator and a Northwest Arkansas businessman as accomplices in a scheme with a New Jersey political consultant and several executives of a Springfield, Mo., charity to spend nearly $1 million on illegal political activity and kickbacks to co-conspirators.

A federal judge has canceled next week's scheduled trial for a former Arkansas state senator accused in a reported kickback scheme.

Former Sen. Jon Woods was set to go on trial Monday on 15 counts on fraud, but a judge in Fayetteville canceled the trial Friday so a hearing can be held on new evidence in the case. No hearing date has been set.

Woods was charged along with Oren Paris III and Randell Shelton Jr.

An Arkansas judge has dismissed a murder charge in a case involving evidence gathered by an Amazon Echo smart speaker.

Television station KHOG reports that the prosecutors' request to dismiss a first-degree murder charge against James Andrew Bates was granted Wednesday.

Bates was charged in the November 2015 death of Victor Collins, whose body was found in a hot tub at Bates' home. Prosecutors say they requested the dismissal because the evidence supports more than one reasonable explanation.

John Rogers
Mark Friedman / Arkansas Business

A Chicago federal judge has revoked bond for an Arkansas sports memorabilia collector who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to wire fraud earlier this year.

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin made the order Monday after prosecutors said John Rogers of North Little Rock, Arkansas, has continued to commit fraud. Federal prosecutors previously said Rogers defrauded investors by offering a phony Heisman Trophy as collateral for a $100,000 loan. Rogers pleaded guilty in March.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren (R-Gravette) was selected as to chair the Tax Reform and Relief Task Force.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

The Republican leader of the Arkansas Senate says his company is cutting ties with a drug rehabilitation program amid reports that workers provided by the nonprofit were not getting paid. In an interview with KUAR News, Senate Majority Leader Jim Hendren denied any wrongdoing by his company.

The accusations were detailed by news outlet Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting as part of a larger series looking at questionable practices by some rehab programs. On Tuesday a story was published by reporters Amy Julia Harris and Shoshana Walker saying Hendren’s company in northwest Arkansas relied on the workers who weren’t getting any monetary compensation.

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