Arkansas Crime

Three men have filed a lawsuit against an Arkansas judge, alleging they were the victims of sexual misconduct or abuse while they were defendants in his court.

Part-time Cross County District Judge Joe Boeckmann resigned Monday amid an investigation by the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission into allegations he had inappropriate sexual relationships with male defendants dating back to his time as a prosecutor.

Justin Staton
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

An Arkansas teenager has pleaded guilty to charges that he killed the couple who raised him as their grandson.

Justin Staton, who is now 15 years old, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of first-degree murder and other charges related to the 2015 shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell.

A Faulkner County judge accepted the change of plea and the agreement for Staton to testify against his co-defendant Hunter Drexler, who has pleaded not guilty in the case.

File. State Sen. Linda Chesterfield (D-Little Rock).
Arkansas Times

Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus Chair Linda Chesterfield plans to introduce legislation this week for $1 million in higher education funding for inmates preparing to exit the system. The Democratic state senator from Little Rock announced in a meeting on Monday she’ll try on Thursday to add the appropriation for pilot programs at Shorter College and ASU-Newport.

An Arkansas elementary school teacher has been arrested on 33 preliminary charges of giving alcohol to minors and endangering the welfare of minors.

The Lonoke County Sheriff's Office says deputies arrested 48-year-old Marcie Duncan early Sunday after responding to a report of an after-prom party.

Deputies say several teenagers tried to flee into the woods when authorities arrived. The deputies also stopped three cars with several apparently intoxicated teenagers from leaving the party.

File photo: Former Circuit Court Judge Michael Maggio outside of federal court in Little Rock.
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A federal judge has ruled that a former Arkansas circuit court judge can remain free pending his appeal of a federal bribery conviction.

The Benton County Quorum Court has voted unanimously to meet the resignation conditions of Sheriff Kelley Cradduck, who is facing tampering charges.

Cradduck offered to resign Tuesday if the Quorum Court met conditions, including a payment of $80,000 to cover the salary and benefits owed to him through the end of 2016.

Officials approved spending $80,000 from the county's general fund reserve Tuesday night. The decision to accept Cradduck's resignation and declare a vacancy in the Benton County Sheriff's Office was discussed, but not acted on.

prison jail department of correction
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A new study on how and when states put criminals in prison shows Arkansas falling in the middle for severity of punishment, with a ranking of 20th nationwide.

Yet PEW Charitable Trusts Director Adam Gelb said that’s based on 2013 data, before the Arkansas Board of Correction changed parole rules that sent thousands of newly released inmates back into prisons.

Hunter Drexler
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

The FBI has agreed to help an Arkansas prosecutor unlock an iPhone and iPod belonging to two teenagers accused of killing a couple.

Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said Wednesday that the FBI agreed to the request from his office.

The trial for 18-year-old Hunter Drexler was delayed Tuesday so prosecutors could ask for help. He's accused in the shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell. 

15-year-old Justin Staton also is charged in the shootings. The Conway couple had raised Staton as their grandson. 

An Arkansas man convicted in a drug conspiracy in 2004 is among 61 inmates who have had their sentences commuted by President Barack Obama.

Wednesday's action comes amid the president's attempt to overhaul the nation's criminal justice system.

A former Arkansas sheriff has pleaded guilty to felony charges of abuse of public trust and theft of property and was sentenced to eight months in jail.

Former Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington pleaded guilty to the circuit court charges Tuesday.

Saline County Circuit Court Judge Gary Arnold ordered that the sentence be served concurrently with a federal prison term of one year and one day that Pennington received late last year after pleading guilty to using money from his campaign account to pay for personal items and expenses.

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