Arkansas Courts

An Arkansas mother whose 5-year-old son died after being left in a day care van for almost nine hours in hot weather is suing the facility.

In the civil lawsuit filed Thursday, Ashley Smith says Ascent Children's Health Services failed to provide adequate care for her son. The suit says the day care was "indifferent in the recruitment, hiring, training, supervision, discipline of employees," and showed a "callous disregard."

Smith says she wants the day care closed.

Michael Maggio
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

A former Arkansas judge was ordered to begin serving his 10-year prison sentence after an appeals court upheld his bribery conviction.

Former circuit judge Michael Maggio was ordered Monday to surrender to federal authorities before 2 p.m. Wednesday to begin serving his sentence. The order from U.S. District Judge Brian Miller said an arrest warrant will be issued if Maggio doesn't report to authorities.

Judge Bobby McCallister
Arkansas Business

An Arkansas judge accused to failing to pay state and federal income taxes is agreeing to a temporary suspension with pay.

An attorney for Saline County Circuit Court Judge Bobby McCallister told the state Supreme Court in a filing Monday the judge agrees to the temporary suspension until his tax case is resolved. The state Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission asked justices for McCallister's temporary suspension with pay after he was charged with four felony counts of failing to pay taxes.

Saline County Circuit Judge Bobby McCallister
Arkansas Business

A commission that oversees Arkansas judges has filed charges of failing to pay state and federal income taxes against Saline County Circuit Court Judge Bobby McCallister.

The Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission said Tuesday that McCallister appears to have filed no more than tax returns since 1995, but said it isn't clear how much he may owe.

Attorneys for McCallister didn't immediately return phone calls for comment.

Rita Sklar ACLU American Civil Liberties Union
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Abortion rights groups are asking a federal judge to block several new abortion restrictions in Arkansas, including a ban on a commonly used second-trimester procedure.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit Tuesday to block laws that have yet to take effect but were approved by lawmakers this year.

The United States Supreme Court ruled Monday that an Alabama death row inmate has the right to a mental health evaluation from a neutral party. Previously, such evaluations were done by doctors within state government. 

In April, Arkansas inmates Don Davis and Bruce Ward were granted stays of execution after asking for such independent evaluations.

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of an Alabama inmate who complained that he didn't have an independent mental health expert to help him try to stave off a death sentence at his trial.

The justices divided 5-4 Monday in siding with inmate James McWilliams. He did not have his own expert when he was convicted of raping and killing a convenience store clerk in Tuscaloosa.

The justices had previously decided that poor defendants whose mental health might be a factor in the criminal charges they are facing have a right to an expert's evaluation.

Settlement Announced In Mayflower Oil Spill Case

Jun 15, 2017
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A lawsuit brought on behalf of nearly 150 Mayflower residents impacted by a 2013 pipeline rupture has been settled. Attorneys with three law firms representing the residents confirmed with KUAR they had settled the suit with ExxonMobil, the pipeline operator.


An 11-member jury ruled in favor of former Little Rock police Lt. David Hudson in an excessive force case in federal court on Wednesday.

 

Hudson was working as an off-duty security guard at Ferneau, a restaurant in the Hillcrest neighborhood, on Oct. 29, 2011 when he punched Chris Erwin in the face seven times on the sidewalk outside after asking Erwin and his party to leave the establishment. 

Wendell Griffen
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

The top two officials for a judicial ethics panel are recusing themselves from investigations involving an Arkansas judge who participated in an anti-death penalty demonstration the same day he issued an order that effectively blocked executions in the state.

The executive director and deputy director of the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission on Tuesday stepped away from the cases involving Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who lay on a cot outside the governor's mansion last month after blocking the state from using a lethal injection drug.

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