Arkansas Crime

A new report indicates that the number of school-based arrests in Arkansas has increased 13 percent since 2011.

The report by Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families looked at school-based arrests across the state in 2013 and 2014. There are more than 3,000 law enforcement incidents in Arkansas schools each year, and the majority of children involved are arrested for nonviolent offenses.

Arkansas' attorney general says a Crittenden County woman has pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel says 34-year-old Elaina Brewer of Marion pleaded guilty Monday to a felony count of Medicaid fraud. A Pulaski County judge sentenced Brewer to two years of probation and ordered her to pay a $5,530 fine and $1,843 in restitution. She also must undergo random drug tests.

Brewer was arrested in October 2013 after investigators found she billed the Arkansas Medicaid Program for attendant-care services she did not provide.

Mike Beebe
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

Outgoing Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has taken the first step toward previously announced plans to pardon his son over a 2003 marijuana conviction.

Beebe on Friday formally announced his intent to pardon his son Kyle, who was convicted in 2003 of felony marijuana possession with intent to deliver. Beebe last month said he planned to grant the pardon.

The announcement begins a 30-day period for public comment before the pardon takes effect.

Police in Searcy have called off the active search for a missing 2-year-old and are now focusing on a criminal investigation into the child's disappearance.

The hunt for Malik Drummond began Nov. 23 when his father and stepmother reported he apparently walked away from their home. Volunteers joined with local police, state police and the FBI in an unsuccessful search for the boy.

Police Chief Jeremy Clark said in a news release Monday that investigators will focus "on the only possible remaining scenarios."

Martha Shoffner
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A lawyer for an ex-Arkansas treasurer convicted in a bribery and extortion case says in court papers she is grateful that she won't be tried on mail fraud charges.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they intend to drop 10 mail fraud counts against Martha Shoffner. Defense lawyer Chuck Banks filed papers Wednesday saying Shoffner "welcomes and is grateful" for the decision.

Little Rock Police
David Monteith / KUAR News

The Little Rock Police Department took action Tuesday to try and establish some good will in the community. Officers, in an event planned weeks ago, distributed 150 frozen turkeys and hams to drivers who lined up in front of the recently built 12th Street substation.

By chance, it came the day after outrage again erupted in Ferguson, Missouri as a grand jury there decided not to indict a white police officer who killed an unarmed 18-year-old. Demonstrations also took place elsewhere in the country.

Martha Shoffner
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Federal prosecutors are asking to drop their case accusing former Arkansas state Treasurer Martha Shoffner of spending thousands from her campaign on personal items and said they'll present evidence of the spending when she's sentenced in a separate bribery case.

Prosecutors on Tuesday asked U.S. District Judge Leon Holmes to dismiss 10 counts of mail fraud against Shoffner over the campaign spending accusations. Shoffner was convicted earlier this year of steering state investments to a bond broker who had given her cash over the years and is awaiting sentencing.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas' attorney general says the state Crime Victims Reparations Board awarded $276,956 to victims of crime in October.

Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Monday that awards were made in 204 new cases. Additional expenses were paid in 19 previously submitted cases.

Victims of violent crime may be eligible for compensation from the state's Crime Victim Reparation Program for unexpected expenses such as medical treatment, mental health counseling and funeral costs. Compensation is also available for lost wages and replacement services.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is warning residents to use caution when they go online to shop for gifts this holiday season.

McDaniel issued a consumer alert this week ahead of the Dec. 1 "Cyber Monday," when tens of millions of Americans shop online.

To stay safe, McDaniel says consumers should make sure to shop websites of reputable retailers and avoid giving sensitive financial information like a credit card number unless it's appropriate - such as on an order form.

Jurors have convicted a Fort Smith man of killing two men with a machete.

The Southwest Times Record reports 21-year-old Gregory Kinsey had faced capital murder charges but was found guilty of first- and second-degree murder. A Sebastian County jury returned the verdict after deliberating for more than three hours and hearing arguments from Kinsey's attorneys that he acted in self-defense.

Kinsey killed 39-year-old Brandon Prince and 32-year-old Nathan Young in June 2013. He says he was walking home from Dollar General when the men approached and threatened him.