Arkansas Crime

A judge has delayed the trial of an Arkansas man charged in the killing of a Hot Springs Village police dispatcher.

Kevin Duck was set to go to trial this week in the 2011 death of his girlfriend, Dawna Natzke. But the case has been pushed back until Feb. 10 at the request of defense attorneys, who said they needed more time to review documents received in the discovery process.

Crystal Lowery
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Authorities have arrested the wife of a man accused of kidnapping and killing an Arkansas real estate agent on the same charges.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Office says 41-year-old Crystal Lowery of Jacksonville was arrested Thursday at her home. An arrest report says she is charged with capital murder and kidnapping.

Lowery's husband, 33-year-old Arron Michael Lewis, was arrested earlier this month for capital murder, kidnapping and robbery in the death of 50-year-old Beverly Carter. Lewis has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A federal judge has sentenced a former northwest Arkansas developer to more than five years in prison. Brandon Barber was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Fort Smith after pleading guilty last year to bank fraud, bankruptcy fraud and money laundering.

Federal prosecutors had accused Barber of concealing his assets and income after he filed for bankruptcy, as well as defrauding banks for loans to finance real estate projects.

Authorities say a Searcy County deputy who was wounded in a shootout at a bakery in the Ozark Mountains has been released from the hospital.

Searcy County Sheriff Donald Ragland says Deputy Lang Holland is recovering at home after the shooting last week at Serenity Farm Bread in Leslie. Arkansas State Police say Holland was injured Friday after a man allegedly opened fire at the bakery.

Holland and a state police trooper returned fire and injured the man, who authorities identified as 75-year-old John Kolata.

prison jail department of correction
Sarah Whites-Koditschek / KUAR

Arkansas Community Corrections presented a proposal for transitional  centers for ex-offenders to a legislative joint committee Monday. The plan would provide 800 transitional beds statewide over two years at a total cost of nearly $9 million. 

Sheila Sharp of the Community Corrections said that could help ease prison crowding as it looks to release inmates and avoid recidivism.

The former Superfund site is in Greene County near Paragould.
encyclopediaofarkansas.net

The site of a former auto equipment company in northeast Arkansas has been removed from a national list of one of the most environmentally dangerous places in the country. On Wednesday the Environmental Protection Agency removed the former Monroe Auto Equipment Company site near Paragould from a list of Superfund sites.

EPA spokesperson Jennah Durant said the plant stopped using the area to dispose of waste in 1978 and the site was hazardous for decades.

Eric Holder
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Attorney General Eric Holder says the unrest after a police officer in Missouri fatally shot an unarmed black man in August shows law enforcement can't let tensions with the community go unresolved.

Holder told a group of mayors and police chiefs that the shooting of Michael Brown by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson and the protests that followed show the need for expanded collaboration among law enforcement and the communities they serve.

Parole Board Commissioner Abraham Carpenter
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

Intense media coverage of the murder of real estate agent Beverly Carter last week is causing a stir in the state legislature. A meeting Monday between lawmakers and parole officials turned contentious.

It didn’t take long for the tone and atmosphere in the Judiciary committee to turn hostile, as legislators let their frustrations known to Parole Board members. Representative Sue Scott of Rogers told Parole Board member Abraham Carpenter to get ready for an emotionally-tinged string of remarks.

Arron Michael Lewis
Pulaski Co. Sheriff's Office

Pulaski County authorities say the suspect in the kidnapping and slaying of a real estate agent has been transferred from the county jail to the state prison system.

County Sheriff Doc Holladay told reporters that 33-year-old Arron Michael Lewis was transferred to the Arkansas Department of Correction after his parole was revoked Friday. Lewis was paroled in Arkansas in August 2013 after serving time for theft.

A former deputy director of the Arkansas Department of Human Services has pleaded guilty to providing official assistance in exchange for bribes from the owner of two mental health companies.

Federal officials announced Thursday that 49-year-old Steven B. Jones had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bribery charges. Jones, of Marion, will be sentenced April 2, 2015.

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