Arkansas Crime

A Crittenden County jury has ordered an ex-Russellville doctor to pay $122.5 million in a civil lawsuit for severely injuring the Arkansas medical board's chairman in a 2009 bombing.

Randeep Mann was convicted in 2010 for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and other charges following the bombing of Dr. Trent Pierce outside his home.

Pierce led the medical board when it revoked Mann's license to prescribe narcotics after he was suspected of overprescribing pain medications, leading to some patient deaths.

Arkansas Supreme Court Upholds State's Lethal Injection Law

Mar 19, 2015

The right of the Arkansas Department of Correction to select a chemical used in executions does not violate state law or separation of powers, the state’s highest court ruled Thursday.

Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan has agreed to pay a $1,000 fine for hiring his cousin to work in the treasurer's office and is reimbursing the state nearly $7,000 in salary his cousin was paid. Milligan and Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the agreement Friday.

A former Arkansas state senator has pleaded guilty to a federal mail fraud charge connected to his spending more than $150,000 from a campaign fund.

Paul Bookout of Jonesboro entered the plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court.

Prosecutors said Bookout spent campaign money on clothing, a sound system, liquor and other personal items while claiming it was going toward legitimate political expenses.

A sentencing hearing is pending. He faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, though under sentencing guidelines terms could be much less.

An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty in a series of attacks on a power grid in the central part of the state.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thayer said Tuesday that 38-year-old Jason Woodring of Jacksonville pleaded guilty to the attacks between August and October 2013.

Prosecutors agreed that Woodring should receive a 15-year sentence in federal prison under the plea deal. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 18.

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."

Searcy Police chief jeremy clark

The Searcy police chief has resigned after his home was searched by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Searcy Mayor David Morris told reporters at a brief news conference Tuesday afternoon that Police Chief Jeremy Clark resigned, effective immediately. Morris said he can't comment further because of an ongoing investigation.

Clark did not return phone calls seeking comment. KATV-TV reports that Clark denied wrongdoing and said he's the subject of an arson investigation.

Talk Business & Politics

With state lawmakers gearing up for a continuation of their debate over changes to the state’s prison system, sentencing guidelines, and parole and probation protocol, there is a push for more transparency to the convoluted and complicated process of criminal justice.

Appearing on this week’s edition of Talk Business & Politics, which airs Monday evening at 6:06 on KUAR, Sens. David Sanders and Jeremy Hutchinson and Rep. John Vines discussed what they see as problems and potential solutions to the challenge.

Firing squad capitol punishment
Jeffrey Martin /

An Arkansas lawmaker whose daughter was murdered by a man now on death row says she will file a bill legalizing firing squads after a Senate committee passed a bill to ban capital punishment.

Republican Rep. Rebecca Petty of Rogers said she plans to introduce a bill this week instructing the state to consider other execution methods, including firing squads. Arkansas has 32 inmates on death row, but hasn't executed anyone since 2005 due to ongoing legal challenges over lethal injection protocol.

Cyberattack Touches 39,000 Arkansas Consumers With Blue Cross Plans

Feb 26, 2015

Some 39,000 Arkansas consumers were impacted by the massive data breach that hit one of the nation’s largest insurance carriers in late January, including nine individuals who had their Social Security information breached, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield spokesman Max Greenwood told Talk Business & Politics on Wednesday.