Arkansas Prisons

A former Arkansas women's prison chaplain accused of coercing inmates into sex acts has pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault.

Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce says 67-year-old Kenneth Dewitt pleaded guilty on Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court. Boyce says Dewitt agreed to three concurrent 10-year prison sentences with five years suspended on each count. Formal sentencing is set for Aug. 3.

Cummins arkansas department of correction prison
Arkansas Department of Correction

A state task force looking at the rapid growth of Arkansas’s prison population will hear initial findings Wednesday from a national group.

Lloyd Jones
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

A convicted Arkansas killer who escaped while on work detail has been captured.

A spokesman for the Arkansas Department of Correction says the 40-year-old Lloyd Jones was caught Thursday just after 3 p.m. Spokesman Solomon Graves said no other information would be immediately released.

Jones disappeared Monday while on a work detail at the East Arkansas Unit at Brickeys, about 120 miles east of Little Rock.

Jones was serving a 60-year sentence after being convicted of strangling 16-year-old Angela Allen and stuffing her body into a barrel.

Lloyd Jones
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

The FBI is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to the capture of a convicted Arkansas killer who escaped while on a prison work crew.

The FBI in Little Rock announced the reward Wednesday for help in arresting 40-year-old Lloyd Jones.

The Arkansas Department of Correction says Jones disappeared Monday while on a work detail at the East Arkansas Unit at Brickeys, about 120 miles east of Little Rock. Department spokesman Solomon Graves said prison guards noticed Jones was missing from a work crew around noon.

Lloyd Jones
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

Arkansas officials say a man who admitted killing a teenager and then stuffing her body in a barrel buried on his brother's property has escaped from prison.

Prisons spokesman Solomon Graves said 40-year-old Lloyd Jones of Lavaca has been missing since midday Monday. Graves said Jones was on a work crew at the maximum-security East Arkansas Unit near Brickeys.

Graves said it wasn't clear how Jones escaped, and he didn't know what work Jones had been assigned to do.

A project to convert a West Memphis hospital into a facility for nonviolent offenders is nearing completion. The Arkansas Board of Corrections will be hearing updates on the renovation at its meeting Thursday.

The $650,000 project will house 300 nonviolent female offenders, many of whom are now assigned to a compound in Pine Bluff, called the Southeast Arkansas Community Correction Center. Officials say the buildings there are deteriorating and can not be maintained at a reasonable cost.

John Williams death row attorney lethal injection

Executions may be a step closer to resuming in Arkansas if the state’s Supreme Court rules in favor of Arkansas’s lethal injection drug-supplier secrecy laws.

John Williams, an attorney for eight inmates on death row argued before the high court Thursday that state secrecy about drug suppliers violates their constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

Arkansas is running out of time to put eight prisoners to death before one of its lethal drugs expires next month, even if the state Supreme Court gives a quick green light after hearing an inmate challenge to execution procedures next week.

The state finds itself against a deadline because its supply of the paralytic vecuronium bromide - one of the three drugs in Arkansas' lethal drug protocol - expires June 30. The state's drug supplier has said it won't sell the state more.

Jack Gillean
Faulkner Co. Sheriff's Office

The Arkansas Parole Board has approved parole for a former University of Central Arkansas administrator who was convicted on burglary charges for helping a student steal tests.

Officials say Jack Gillean will be eligible for release from prison in June.

Gillean, who worked as UCA's chief of staff, was convicted in March 2014 of six counts of commercial burglary and sentenced to three years in prison. Prosecutors say Gillean gave master keys to a student who then stole tests from professors' offices.

Christopher Wilson
Arkansas Dept. of Correction

The Arkansas Department of Correction says Arkansas State Police are now investigating the shooting death of a convicted killer during an escape attempt.

Department spokesman Solomon Graves says 41-year-old Christopher Wilson was shot and killed just before 1 p.m. Thursday during the attempted escape at the Varner Unit in Grady.

State police spokesman Bill Sadler said the investigation is under way and said details of the attempted escape can't be released. Sadler said the investigative report will be turned over to the local prosecutor.