Arkansas Crime

Jack Gillean
Faulkner County Sheriff's Office

The Arkansas Court of Appeals has upheld the burglary convictions and three year prison sentence of a former University of Central Arkansas chief of staff.

The court's ruling released Wednesday rejects appeals by Jack Gillean of insufficient evidence; that inadmissible evidence was allowed in his trial; violation of his due-process rights; and that improper testimony was allowed during his sentencing.

Gillean was convicted in March 2014 on six counts of commercial burglary for giving master keys to a student who then stole tests from professors' offices.

Arkansas State University's Liberty Stadium
flickr / jimmy emerson

Two Arkansas State football players have been arrested on drug charges. The Craighead County Sheriff's Office says 23-year-old senior defensive end Chris Stone and 22-year-old senior receiver Tyler Trosin were arrested at about 2 a.m.

Tuesday on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine or cocaine. Online records show both were in jail late Tuesday morning. Arkansas State football coach Blake Anderson issued a statement saying he is "aware of the unfortunate and disappointing incident."

The Arkansas Supreme Court has granted the state's request to put on hold a mandate to turn over information about the source of its execution drugs.

The temporary stay was issued about an hour before a noon Friday deadline set by Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Wendell Griffen, who ruled the day before that the state must disclose the information.

The Arkansas attorney general's office asked for the stay and also has filed a notice that it will appeal Griffen's ruling. 

Police say the ex-girlfriend of a man facing capital murder charges in the death of his son was released on her own recognizance because of medical reasons.

They gave no details. Court officials say Lesley Marcotte will likely have a first court appearance Friday.

Pulaski County Judge Wendell Griffen

A state judge has struck down a portion of Arkansas' law that keeps confidential the source of its execution drugs.

Pulaski County District Court Wendell Griffen also ruled Thursday that the state must disclose details of the drugs by noon Friday. 

He sided with death row inmates who challenged a law passed by legislators this year that shielded the identity of drug suppliers. 

Arkansas' highest court has again tossed the murder conviction of a Lincoln County man in a 2011 shooting death, ruling a lower court didn't have the authority to try him on a lesser charge after the original case was dismissed.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday reversed and dismissed the first-degree murder conviction of Justin Jamaille Thornton in the shooting death of Kwame Turner. Thornton had been sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Police say they've found what they believe to be the remains of an Arkansas boy who disappeared from his father's home last year.

Searcy police say human remains were found Wednesday in a field in a rural part of Jackson County, about 100 miles northeast of Little Rock. Police say they believe the remains are of Malik Drummond, who was 2 years old when he went missing in November 2014.

Sgt. Steve Hernandez wouldn't say how police knew to search the area, which is northeast of the boy's home. Hernandez says the remains have been sent to the state crime lab for analysis.

Boxer Jermain Taylor Changes Pleas To Guilty In Three Cases

Dec 1, 2015
Jermain Taylor
KATV, Channel 7 News

Boxing champion Jermain Taylor appeared in court Tuesday morning, changing his pleas to guilty in three cases in which he is charged.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is urging lawmakers to take a new look at the state's sentencing guidelines to find ways to cut the disparities in jail time offenders may receive for the same crimes.

Hutchinson on Monday told a task force looking at the state's criminal justice system it should review the guidelines judges are given for sentencing offenders. The Republican governor said he believes the guidelines aren't being followed strongly enough and should be given more weight.

Former Banker Dennis Smiley Sentencing Set For Jan. 21

Nov 30, 2015
dennis smiley
Arkansas Business

Former Arvest Bank President for Benton County H. Dennis Smiley Jr., will be sentenced Jan. 21 at the Judge Isaac Parker Federal Courthouse in Fort Smith. U.S. District Court Judge P.K. Holmes III signed the sentencing notice on Nov. 23.

Smiley’s sentence is anybody’s guess. Judge Holmes can defer from the sentencing guidelines. Federal sentencing guidelines indicate that Smiley could face a maximum sentence of 71-months, but it’s more likely the sentencing will be less.