Category: Jackson County

Evidence collection seminar sharpens skills for detectives

POCAHONTAS, Ark. – Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, announced that Criminal Investigation Department Detectives from the Third Judicial District participated in a three day Evidence Collection Seminar last week.

The training was conducted by the highly regarded Sirchie company, an international leader in crime scene investigations and forensic science solutions, and taught by David Alford, a retired FBI crime scene investigator. Mr. Alford’s list of accomplishments during his career included assignment to evidence collection in the Unabomber case as well as the Pentagon attack on 9/11.

The training was arranged by Boyce and paid for with forfeited funds seized during drug arrests. Continue reading “Evidence collection seminar sharpens skills for detectives”

41 pounds of pot busted in Jackson County

NEWPORT, Ark. – Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, announced today Christopher Bell, 20, of Dickson, Tennessee was stopped by Arkansas State Police on Saturday, November 26th northbound at the 87 mile marker in Jackson County.

Bell was found with 41 pounds of high-grade hydroponic marijuana in his vehicle with a street value of $371,000.00. The marijuana was packaged in 40 one pound packages. The Third Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the search and seizure.

Bell has been arrested and is being held in the Jackson County jail awaiting the filing of formal charges. Third Judicial District Circuit Judge Harold S. Erwin set Bell’s bond today at $100,000.00 cash only.

Photo source: Henry Boyce

Man pleads to murder in 49-year cold case

Henry Boyce, Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, announced today that James Leon Clay, 69, of Georgetown, Delaware pled guilty to Murder in the Second Degree. Clay’s plea is the conclusion of a murder case which began in rural Jackson County, Arkansas in June, 1967.

Clay was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in the Arkansas Department of Correction by Third Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Harold S. Erwin. Continue reading “Man pleads to murder in 49-year cold case”

Depot days to offer blues tent

Press Release

The 19th annual Depot Days festival is expanding this year to include a Friday Night schedule of music and fun. “The Delta Blues Tent” will offer an evening of free entertainment beginning at 7:00 p.m. on September 23d on Hazel Street Downtown. Food and drink vendors will also be on hand.

The performance schedule is as follows:

7:00 — The Deltatones (Arkansas newest funky blues band)

8:15 — The Memphis All-Stars (Decades of Memphis Soul)

Both of these bands are full of musicians who are seasoned professionals and promise to bring a new and diverse musical experience to attendees on Friday Night.

The Deltatones are led by guitar-virtuoso Joe Castrodale who grew up playing music in Detroit Michigan. Influenced by R&B, Funk, Jazz and Soul musicians Joe has jammed with notable superstars such as Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder, Bootsy Collins and The Allman Brothers. The rest of his band are all polished veterans of the Blues scene in Memphis, Little Rock and Austin Texas.

The Memphis All-Stars are fronted by a R&B soul-master keyboard player reminiscient of Stevie Wonder and lead guitarist Greg Redding who began his professional career with Black Oak Arkansas in the midst of their international stardom of the 70’s. Their repertoire is expansive and they promise to please any fan of Motown, Stax and R&B in general.

Newport has not experienced R&B talent of this caliber at a free public event in over twenty years. DON’T MISS THIS EXCITING EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT!!!

For more information look us up at or contact the Newport Chamber of Commerce at 870-523-3618. Like us on Facebook at Depot Days Festival.

Former Prison Chaplain Sentenced to Prison for Sex Charges

Press Release from Henry Boyce

Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce announced today that Kenneth Dewitt, 67, of the Patterson Community in Woodruff County has been taken into custody and will be transported to the Arkansas Department of Correction to begin serving a prison sentence for three counts of Sexual Assault in the 3rd Degree. During the sentencing hearing one of Dewitt’s victims, a prisoner at the Arkansas Department of Correction McPherson unit read her victim impact statement. Dewitt stood stoically throughout the recitation never looking at his victim.

Dewitt, the former prison chaplain at the Arkansas Department of Correction’s McPherson Women’s Unit resigned from his position on September 10, 2014 after confessing to an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate. A subsequent investigation by the Arkansas State Police uncovered three female inmates Dewitt had engaged in sexual relations with during his employment as chaplain at the unit.

Dewitt was sentenced to a ten year term in the Arkansas Department of Correction on each count to run concurrently with five years suspended on each count.

Boyce said, “I am certainly hopeful that the victims, as well as the Department of Corrections, are glad this case has finally come to a conclusion.” Boyce also noted that extensive discussions were held with all three victims in the case with each victim agreeing to the plea offer and sentence.