Arkansas Law Enforcement

The FBI is backing away from an Arkansas prosecutor's statement that its agents would help unlock an iPhone and iPod belonging to two teenagers accused of killing a couple, saying it hasn't examined the devices and isn't sure whether it can help.

The FBI's statement Thursday didn't rule out help in the Arkansas case, but said that without more details, it doesn't know whether its agents can access the devices.

prison jail department of correction
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

A new study on how and when states put criminals in prison shows Arkansas falling in the middle for severity of punishment, with a ranking of 20th nationwide.

Yet PEW Charitable Trusts Director Adam Gelb said that’s based on 2013 data, before the Arkansas Board of Correction changed parole rules that sent thousands of newly released inmates back into prisons.

Hunter Drexler
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

The FBI has agreed to help an Arkansas prosecutor unlock an iPhone and iPod belonging to two teenagers accused of killing a couple.

Faulkner County Prosecuting Attorney Cody Hiland said Wednesday that the FBI agreed to the request from his office.

The trial for 18-year-old Hunter Drexler was delayed Tuesday so prosecutors could ask for help. He's accused in the shooting deaths of Robert and Patricia Cogdell. 

15-year-old Justin Staton also is charged in the shootings. The Conway couple had raised Staton as their grandson. 

A report of armed men near an Arkansas elementary school led to a campus lockdown before police confirmed the three were actually pest control employees chasing squirrels.

A teacher at Gardner STEM Magnet School in Hot Springs saw the men about 8 a.m. Wednesday and notified administrators. According to a statement from the Hot Springs Police Department, the teacher said it looked like three men carrying rifles were running toward the school.

A former Arkansas sheriff has pleaded guilty to felony charges of abuse of public trust and theft of property and was sentenced to eight months in jail.

Former Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington pleaded guilty to the circuit court charges Tuesday.

Saline County Circuit Court Judge Gary Arnold ordered that the sentence be served concurrently with a federal prison term of one year and one day that Pennington received late last year after pleading guilty to using money from his campaign account to pay for personal items and expenses.

A Fayetteville man was arrested on preliminary charges of terroristic threatening, criminal mischief and commercial burglary after an incident that led to the evacuation of the federal building in Fayetteville for almost two hours.

Fayetteville Police spokesman Sgt. Craig Stout says police arrested the 45-year-old man Monday afternoon on allegations of breaking the window of a downtown store and threatening the owner.

The man fled the store and officers pulled him over in a traffic stop in front of the John Paul Hammerschmidt Federal Building about 11 a.m.

Arkansas State Police Emblem

Arkansas State Police are investigating after Pine Bluff officers shot a juvenile while serving a warrant Wednesday afternoon.

Pine Bluff police initially said that a 19-year-old had been shot by officers after he came out of a house with a weapon they say he pointed at officers. But an Arkansas State Police spokesman said Thursday that officers shot a juvenile who was holding a weapon, not the 19-year-old.

Spokesman Bill Sadler says the 19-year-old surrendered to the police Wednesday night on warrants for kidnapping, residential burglary and theft.

Arkansas Guns
Talk Business & Politics

Fresh new polling from Talk Business & Politics in conjunction with several partners presents attitudes from Arkansans on a variety of gun-related topics. TB&P, Hendrix College, Impact Management Group, and KATV Channel 7 partnered on the survey, which was conducted Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

A federal appeals court panel has upheld a lower court ruling that federal agents acted lawfully during a search and seizure at a Little Rock water bottling facility.

The three-judge panel from the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in the opinion released Thursday that FBI and IRS agents acted reasonably when they detained employees of Mountain Pure Water in Little Rock for several hours during a search of the facility in 2012.

The employees claimed the agents used excessive force and improperly detained them for several hours.

Mena Police

  Police in Mena have released the name of an officer who shot and killed a man nearly a week ago.

Police Chief Brandon Martin said Monday that Sgt. Kenneth Mann shot 30-year-old Shawn Dickens last Tuesday after Dickens first fought with and ran from the officer, then picked up a weapon that fell from his clothing and pointed it at the officer.

Dickens was later pronounced dead at a hospital.