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Arkansas Man Pleads Guilty To Mailing Powder To Senator Tom Cotton

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to mailing white powder to U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton’s Washington office with a letter stating, “Maybe this will get your attention.”

Henry Goodloe on Thursday pleaded guilty in federal court to a count of conveying false information about possessing a biological weapon for the August 2018 letter he mailed to the Republican senator. Prosecutors say a Senate mail facility intercepted the letter and a hazardous response team determined the powder was unbleached flour and starch.

The letter’s return address was Goodloe’s home address in Pine Bluff, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Little Rock.

A sentencing hearing hasn’t been set yet for the 77-year-old Goodloe. He faces up to five years in prison.

Arkansas man receives 30 year sentence for killing man in 2018 Walmart shooting

TRUMANN, Ark — An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for fatally shooting a man who tried to intervene as he held his ex-wife at gunpoint outside a Walmart.

The Craighead County Prosecutor’s Office said Monday that 23-year-old Gabriel Urrabazo was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the April 2018 death of Richard Highfill, plus 20 years behind bars for the kidnapping of 21-year-old Faith Morgan. He will serve the sentences concurrently.

Officials say Urrabazo went to the Walmart in Trumann, about 120 miles (195 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock, and held Morgan at gunpoint . As police negotiated with Urrabazo, Highfill tried to disarm him but was shot and killed. Highfill was Morgan’s uncle.

Urrabazo released Morgan and surrendered after an hour-long standoff with police.

A public defender for Urrabazo could not be reached for comment.

RELATED: Trumann man holds ex-wife at gunpoint, kills another man in Walmart parking lot

(The video attached to the story is from April 2018.)

FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — A former Arkansas state senator who pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering is asking to be released immediately from prison.

Convicted Ex-Arkansas State Senator Seeks Prison Release

Jake Files.

Republican Jake Files of Fort Smith filed the handwritten request Friday, one year after reporting to the federal prison in El Reno, Oklahoma, to serve an 18-month sentence .

The petition first reported by The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette says Files has no disciplinary incidents, led worship services and evaluated his past actions. Files asks to spend his remaining time in home confinement and says he would seek to renew his real estate and general contractor licenses to search for employment and pay court-ordered restitution.

Files resigned from the state Senate in January 2018, a day after pleading guilty to charges of falsifying bids and pocketing thousands of dollars in state funds intended for construction of a sports complex.

Rebecca O'Donnell facing death penalty in former Sen. Collins murder case

POCAHONTAS, Ark. — Rebecca O’Donnell, who was a reported close friend of the victim, pleaded not guilty to former state Senator Linda Collins’s murder on Tuesday. She faces the death penalty.

During the arraignment Tuesday, Judge David Goodson opened court files in the murder case to the public. Judge Goodson urged anyone who may become emotional to leave the courtroom as he made an opening statement.

RELATED: Rebecca O’Donnell charged with capital murder in killing of former senator Linda Collins-Smith

O’Donnell, also a former campaign worker, was charged with capital murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Collins, who went by Collins-Smith in the Legislature, was found dead June 4 outside her home in Pocahontas, Arkansas.

Rogers Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Commit Human Trafficking After Alleged Prostitution Bust

Christopher Haynes, 37

ROGERS, Ark. (KFSM) — A Rogers man has pled guilty to conspiracy to commit human trafficking, a class A felony, after police and FBI agents busted an alleged prostitution ring in 2018.

Christopher Haynes, 37, was sentenced to six years probation and 120 days in Benton County Jail, with credit for 561 days already served. He also has to register as a sex offender and pay court costs.

In January 2018, Rogers police arrested four people on suspicion of running a prostitution ring from a home on East Necessary Road after a joint investigation with the FBI revealed the home was being used to solicit sex with a 17-year-old girl.

Corey Glenn, 42; Christopher Haynes, 36; Savannah Schmid, 23; and Diana Hernandez, 25, were arrested on January 20, 2018, in connection with the trafficking of persons, a Class Y felony.

After using an alias to set up a “date” with the girl, police served a search warrant on the home, where they found Schmid, Haynes, Glenn and Hernandez. The girl was found hiding under a blanket in a back bedroom, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The girl told police she wasn’t forced into prostitution but said she’d made $900 during two sexual encounters at the house.

Haynes, who admitted to being involved in prostitution in the past, said he didn’t realize what was happening until Glenn told him they needed to go into a backroom so they wouldn’t “interfere with the date,” according to the affidavit.

Glenn pleaded not guilty to trafficking of minor persons and failed to appear in court earlier this month. An arrest warrant has been issued for him.

Schmid is due in Benton County Court on August 19, while Hernandez was due in court Monday (July 29).

Springdale Man Pleads Innocent To Murder Charges

Franklin Soto-Ramos

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — A Springdale man pleaded not guilty Wednesday (July 17) to killing another man outside a McDonald’s earlier this summer.

Franklin Soto-Ramos, 21, is charged in Washington County Circuit Court with capital murder and attempted capital murder.

His trial is set for Oct. 18. He faces up to life in prison without parole or the death penalty if convicted.

Soto-Ramos was extradited back to Arkansas earlier this month. He was arrested in June just outside of Indianapolis, Ind.

Springdale police said officers were flagged down near the McDonalds on East Robinson Avenue and told a shooting just taken place at the restaurant.

Officers found two males with gunshot wounds on the east side of the building in the parking lot and began rendering medical aid. One of the men was dead, and the other was taken to the hospital with what Taylor called “life-threatening injuries.”

The victims were identified as Carlos Alexander Ascencio, 18, who died; and Juan Carlos Bahena-Garcia, 20, who was injured. Both were from Springdale.

Police discovered that Soto-Ramos was head toward Indianapolis. With the help of the Illinois State Police, Indiana State Police, Terra Haute (Indiana) Police and the Indianapolis Police, Soto-Ramos was taken into custody, Taylor said.

Soto-Ramos is being held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center.

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GREAT BEND, Kan. (AP) — A Texas man has pleaded guilty in the deaths of a couple who were killed at a Kansas fair after one suspect ordered the killings as part of a “carnival mafia” initiation.

Texas Man Pleads Guilty In Deaths Of Kansas Fair Vendors

Rusty Fraiser, 35, from Texas.

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s office said in a news release that 36-year-old Rusty Lee Frasier of Aransas Pass, Texas pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of first-degree premeditated murder the 2018 deaths of Alfred “Sonny” Carpenter and Pauline Carpenter at the Barton County Fair, where they were vendors. The bodies of the Wichita couple were discovered in a national forest near Van Buren, Arkansas.

Texas Man Pleads Guilty In Deaths Of Kansas Fair Vendors

Thomas Drake

Prosecutors said 32-year-old Thomas Donald Drake of Van Buren, Arkansas, also pleaded guilty Monday to one count of obstructing apprehension.

Their sentencing has not been scheduled.

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Hutchinson Pleads Guilty To Federal Bribery Scheme In Missouri

Former Arkansas lawmaker Jeremy Hutchinson.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KFSM) — Former state Sen. Jeremy Hutchionson, R-Little Rock, pleaded guilty Monday (July 8) in federal court to conspiracy to defraud the federal government.

In an unsealed grand jury filing, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison of the Western District of Missouri said Hutchinson “knowingly and unlawfully conspired, confederated, and agreed together” with Bontiea and Tommy Ray Goss to devise a scheme that began in 2015 to defraud Preferred Family Healthcare (PFH), according to Talk Business & Politics.

Bontiea and Tommy Goss both served as chief financial officers for PFH, according to court documents.

PFH was a Missouri nonprofit that provided mental and behavioral health treatment and counselling to clinics in Missouri and Arkansas.

That same Springfield, Mo.-based nonprofit is at the center of the wide-ranging federal corruption probe in several jurisdictions that has already entrapped several former Arkansas lawmakers and PFH executives.

Hutchinson, the governor’s nephew, pleaded guilty last month to similar charges in Arkansas.

Hutchinson pleaded guilty to filing a false income tax return in 2011 and accepting bribes in exchange for efforts to change a state dental law.

Prosecutors said they would seek to dismiss other charges that he spent thousands in campaign funds on personal items once he’s been sentenced. Hutchinson previously pleaded not guilty in the case.