Arkansas Crime

A federal judge has sentenced a Little Rock man to two years and three months in prison after he acknowledged selling tax credits for refined coal that didn't exist.

U.S. Attorney Christopher Thayer said Wednesday that 62-year-old Stephen Parks was also ordered to complete three years of supervision upon his release from prison and pay $845,000 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Parks also agreed to forfeit jewelry purchased with money obtained from the scheme and other property worth $7.5 million.

Arron Michael Lewis

A pre-trial hearing for man accused of kidnapping and killing a realtor last year has been postponed so an expert can review results of a mental exam. 

Arron Lewis was charged in Beverly Carter's disappearance and death.

A half-dozen law officers escorted him into court Monday for a brief appearance.

andrea davis dustin mcdaniel

A central Arkansas lawyer whose relationship with former Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel led him to withdraw from the race for governor is being allowed to voluntarily surrender her law license.

The Arkansas Supreme Court on Thursday granted Andrea Davis' petition to surrender her license. Davis told the court that her license has been suspended since February 2014, and she is hoping the surrender will void five pending grievances against her at the Office of Professional Conduct.

Eight death row inmates are asking an Arkansas judge to stop their executions, arguing that the state's refusal to reveal where it gets execution drugs is unconstitutional.

The argument, made in a court filing late Monday, is similar to arguments unsuccessfully used by death-row inmates in other states.

But the filing argues that Arkansas new secrecy law violates a previous settlement with the state that ensured inmates would be given the information.

In an effort to combat violent crime, two Arkansas cities are among five nationwide being added to the Violence Reduction Network. The program by the U.S. Department of Justice does not provide additional funding, but Chris Thyer, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Arkansas, says it will allow access to resources and expertise to help police departments in Little Rock and West Memphis.

Jefferson County Courthouse Pine Bluff
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A special prosecutor says the state may reduce or drop some criminal charges against the Jefferson County clerk. At a pre-trial hearing for Patricia Royal Johnson on Friday, Special Prosecutor Jack McQuary said it's possible that four theft of property charges could be modified or dropped.

Johnson was charged this year with 10 counts of forgery, one count of abuse of public trust and four counts of felony theft of property between $5,000 and $25,000. Legislative auditors say Johnson paid more than $60,000 in bonuses to employees without asking the Quorum Court.

A pharmaceutical company that ended its contract with Arkansas in 2013 after its drugs were purchased for lethal injections is investigating whether the state plans to use one of its sedatives in upcoming executions.

A former West Memphis city councilman has admitted to being an intermediary who helped pass bribes to the former deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services.

Former councilman Phillip Carter pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal conspiracy charge. The deputy director, Steven Jones, pled guilty last October to conspiracy and bribery charges for providing assistance two mental health companies in exchange for gifts.

Trinity Behavioral Health Care and Maxus Inc. were suspended from the state's Medicaid program last year after the state learned of the scheme.

Arkansas Dept. of Correction

The Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of an inmate convicted of killing his cellmate at a maximum security prison.

Robert Holland was convicted of capital murder in the 2012 strangulation of Matthew Scheile. According to court records, Holland had refused to have a cellmate but agreed to accept Scheile in his cell on Dec. 7, 2012. That same night, Scheile was found dead in the cell they shared at the Cummins unit.

The ex-boyfriend of a pregnant North Little Rock woman shot to death in June has pleaded not guilty to capital murder.

Quenton King was arrested in July and charged with two counts of capital murder in the shooting death of Megan Price and her unborn child. Police said Price was eight months pregnant when she died.

King appeared in court Wednesday for an arraignment and plea hearing. A bond hearing is scheduled for Oct. 26.

Court records and police reports show a tumultuous relationship between King and Price lasting more than a decade.