Arkansas Crime

An Arkansas House committee has supported a plan to help restart executions in the state by allowing different drugs to be used in lethal injections and to shield where those chemicals come from.

The House Judiciary Committee sent the bill to the House on a voice vote on Tuesday. It would allow the Department of Correction to either use a barbiturate or a combination of three drugs for executions. The agency would also be barred from releasing who makes or supplies the drugs.

Leslie Rutledge Attorney General
Talk Business & Politics

With the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling this past week declaring the state’s lethal injection procedures as constitutional, executions in Arkansas are set to move forward after a decade of being on hold.

Hurdles Remain To Resume Arkansas Death Penalty Process

Mar 23, 2015

The Arkansas Supreme Court's decision upholding a 2013 lethal injection law clears a major hurdle to resuming the death penalty in a state that hasn't executed an inmate in a decade. But the path is by no means clear for capital punishment to make a return to Arkansas. A narrowly divided court overturned a Pulaski County judge's ruling that the Legislature's most-recent rewrite of Arkansas' execution law violated the state constitution by allowing the Correction Department to decide which barbiturate to use when putting inmates to death.

Chris Hickey / KUAR News

Mayor Mark Stodola said in his annual "State of the City" address that juvenile crime will be a continuing challenge for Little Rock.

City Administrators and community members heard from Stodola inside the foyer of the new 12th street police station. He pointed to the new confines as one symbolic achievement of the last year.

“It also represents making good on a commitment, a comitment to public safety, a comitment to place, a comitment to our midtown neighborhoods south of Interstate 630,” he said.


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."