Arkansas Crime

Jo Nell Mallory
Saline Co. Sheriff's Office

A former Saline County chief deputy has been given probation after pleading guilty to a felony charge of abuse of public trust.

Jo Nell Mallory pleaded guilty Thursday in Saline County Circuit Court and was sentenced to 18 months of probation and ordered to pay $3,000 in restitution to the sheriff's office. The 62-year-old Mallory was accused of waiving a criminal fine in exchange for having new tile flooring installed in her home. She was also accused of taking money from telephone kiosks at the sheriff's office and the county jail.

Authorities say an Arkansas mother has been charged with child endangerment after giving her 10-month-old son bourbon in a bottle.

KATV-TV reports that 28-year-old Lori Sheppard told police she was trying to relieve her teething infant's pain.

Sheppard said she's already given him infant Tylenol and Motrin when her mother suggested she rub alcohol on his gums. Police say she later told investigators she put bourbon in the child's bottle.

Operation Delta Blues david resch chris thyer bill bryant
Matt Mershon / KATV, Channel 7 News

Federal prosecutors are accusing 39 people of drug, firearm and fraud offenses in Phillips County. State charges were lodged against eight people after a roundup at Helena-West Helena.

Investigations named Operation Delta Blues and Operation Plastic Castle targeted drug trafficking, violent crime and public corruption.

U.S. Attorney Chris Thyer said 300 law officers took part in a series of arrests Tuesday to combat violent drug traffickers in the Arkansas Delta. He said agents purchased "significant amounts" of crack cocaine during the operation.

Prairie County Clerk Arrested For Giving Inmate Cell Phone

Oct 28, 2015
Prairie County Circuit Clerk Vanessa Peters
Prairie County Sheriff's Office

The Prairie County Circuit Clerk  is facing charges for allegedly giving an Arkansas Department of Correction inmate a cell phone.

Vanessa Peters, 53, was arrested last week, charged with furnishing, possessing or using prohibited articles. Prairie County District Judge Jim Rhodes released Peters on her own recognizance on October 21, the same day she was arrested.

An assistant attorney general says the company that sold Arkansas execution drugs had contracts with manufacturers prohibiting the chemicals from being sold for use in death penalty cases, but made a deal anyway because a new state law ensured it would remain anonymous.

Attorneys challenging Arkansas' execution secrecy law are asking a judge to rule on their constitutional concerns before ruling on whether to issue a protective order to shield the drug makers' identity.

The attorneys for nine death row inmates filed the motion Monday in Pulaski County Circuit Court.

Arkansas officials last week asked Judge Wendell Griffen to issue a protective order shielding the state from releasing the drug information or limiting the disclosure to the inmates' attorneys.

Arkansas' highest court has upheld the conviction and life sentence of a Little Rock man in the 2013 killing of a restaurant manager during a robbery at a mall.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the capital murder, attempted capital murder and aggravated robbery convictions of Deonte Edison.

The Arkansas Supreme Court says a lower-court judge overstepped his jurisdiction by halting the executions of eight death row inmates, but then granted its own stay so the inmates have enough time to challenge a state law that shields the source of death penalty drugs from the public.

The justices issued the ruling Tuesday, granting the state's request to toss out a stay granted this month by Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen. But justices also immediately granted their own stay.

Stacey Eugene Johnson
Arkansas Department Of Correction

One of eight Arkansas death row inmates whose executions were stayed by a circuit court is asking the Arkansas Parole Board for clemency.

Stacey Eugene Johnson's defense attorney, Jeff Rosenzweig, told the board Thursday that Johnson may be innocent and his sentence should be commuted to life without parole.

Johnson was convicted in the 1993 death of Carol Heath, who was killed while her two young children were home.

A man accused of shooting at people trying to escape a burning house in Helena-West Helena has been arrested.

According to police, a 31-year-old man was arrested Sunday and is being held on a $1 million bond. He faces 12 counts of attempted first-degree murder, arson and illegal possession of a firearm.

Authorities say occupants reported the back of the home had been set on fire on Sept. 23. Police say as people tried to exit the home through the front door, two men dressed in dark clothing shot at them, forcing them back inside.