Paragould, Ark. – Robert Thompson, Adam Butler, and Wes Watts—deputy prosecuting attorneys—prosecuted 54-year-old Brian Keith Southard for the sexual assault of a minor. After a four-day trial, a Greene County jury found Southard guilty of second-degree sexual assault Friday. And Circuit Judge Melissa Richardson followed the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Southard to 30 years’ imprisonment.
On 28 September 2020, the Greene County Sheriff’s Department received a report of a sexual assault of a minor child. An agent with the Crimes Against Children Division interviewed the 15-year-old victim, who confirmed the assault.
Thompson, Bulter, and Watts thanked the jury for their service and the Greene County Sheriff’s Department—particularly Detective Ashley Worcester—for their investigation. Prosecuting Attorney Keith L. Chrestman praised the deputy prosecutors: “This team of prosecutors is relentless. They continue to successfully prosecute people who prey upon some of the most vulnerable. I’m thankful for their continued willingness to serve and ongoing efforts that make their community safe for all children.”