NEWPORT, Ark. – Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, announced today Kathy Jane Hart, 55, of Maynard, pled guilty to Murder in the Second Degree on Friday, November 18th in front of Circuit Judge Harold S. Erwin. Murder in the Second Degree is a Class A Felony punishable by 6 to 30 years incarceration. Hart was sentenced to the maximum of 30 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
On November 10, 2015 a body was found on the side of Harper Cemetery Road near the Stokes community. The victim was later identified as John David Hart, 48, of Randolph County. Investigators with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department and the Arkansas State Police investigated the incident and subsequently arrested Mr. Hart’s ex-wife, Kathy Jane Hart, for the murder.
Boyce said, “We are pleased that the defendant has admitted her guilt in this case and spared her own family the burden of enduring what would no doubt have been a terribly emotional experience at trial. Mr. Hart’s family, as well as all three children of John and Kathy Hart, have consented to the terms of this plea agreement.”
The State of Arkansas was represented by Mr. Boyce, Randolph County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Wallace and Lawrence County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ryan Cooper.
Randolph County Sheriff Gary Tribble transported Hart to and from Newport for the trial. She was taken back to the Randolph County Detention Center following her plea, Tribble told NEA Report.