Arkansas Crime

ANAEL CASTRO-HERNANDEZ
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Pulaski County authorities say an inmate who escaped in Little Rock while being taken to a court hearing has been recaptured.

Sheriff's Lt. Carl Minden says Anael Castro-Hernandez was captured Tuesday by U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force members from Kansas City, Missouri, and Kansas City, Kansas. Minden says a source provided Arkansas authorities with information that Castro-Hernandez was in the Kansas City metro area.

Federal and state officials have announced the arrest of 23 people and the search for two more charged in connection with what officials say was a drug distribution ring based in Little Rock.

U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer; FBI Special Agent in Charge in Little Rock David Resch; and Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner announced the charges and arrests Tuesday.

Authorities say 20 arrests were in Little Rock; one in the Mesquite/Dallas, Texas, area; one in Atlanta; and one in Tennessee. The two other suspects are being sought in Little Rock.

Arkansas State Capitol
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

A task force on human trafficking on Wednesday walked lawmakers through 19 recommendations that it believes would help Arkansas combat the problem. Proposals include changing the way Arkansas handles undocumented immigrants, particularly children. 

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says a Little Rock man is in jail after he allegedly used a stun gun on a deputy.

Pulaski County Sheriff's Lt. Carl Minden says deputies were trying to pull over 35-year-old Marcus Venson Sunday night because he was suspected of pointing a gun at a resident.

Minden says Venson wrestled with authorities who tried to arrest him, then took a stun gun from one of the deputies. A report says Venson then used the stun gun on the deputy's face.

AG Dustin McDaniel (D)
Nathan Vandiver / KUAR

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is suing the former executive director of the Arkansas Fire Protection Licensing Board, alleging she used a state charge card to make unauthorized purchases. Thursday's lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court also alleges Catherine Gray wrongly obtained reimbursements for personal expenses.

Little Rock authorities say three sculptures worth $30,000 have been stolen from Riverfront Park.

The city's Parks and Recreation director says he believes the statues were taken Thursday night. They're made of bronze with copper detail and were sawed off at their base.

Two others were taken from the same garden about a year and a half ago. One was recovered and the other was replaced.

The director says there is only one security camera in the park. He says the city will add more cameras, signs and lighting because of the theft. It will also trim trees in the park.

Jermain Taylor
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Boxer Jermain Taylor is free on a $25,000 bond after the former middleweight champion was jailed overnight in Little Rock in connection with a shooting that wounded his cousin.

Taylor appeared via video from the Pulaski County jail for an initial appearance Wednesday. District Judge Wayne Gruber also granted a defense request for Taylor to travel out of state to train and compete in a bout against Sam Soliman in October.

A Mayflower police officer has been fired after a prosecutor said he intentionally withheld evidence in a tornado relief profiteering case. A police spokesman says officer Mark Winchester was terminated Tuesday morning.

Faulkner County Prosecutor Cody Hiland said he would no longer accept felony case submissions from Winchester.

Lt. Gov. Mark Darr leaving the Arkansas Ethics Commission hearing in December.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR

The Arkansas attorney general's office says it expects former Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to reimburse the state nearly $11,000 for improper expenses "very soon." Darr owes the state $10,973 in improper expenses, which auditors recommended in April that he pay for misspending taxpayer funds.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that on top of that required payment, Darr also was fined $11,000 over ethics violations tied to his office and campaign spending. He resigned in February.

Authorities are continuing to search for an inmate who escaped from custody as he was being taken to a hearing at the Pulaski County courthouse.

Authorities say 30-year-old Anael Castro-Hernandez slipped out of handcuffs and ran away as a jail transport van was being unloaded outside of the county courthouse Monday morning. Castro-Hernandez evaded capture Monday and authorities say he is still missing.

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