Jonesboro Arkansas Police Officers Searched Man Twice And Put Him In Patrol Car – Claim He Shot Himself In The Head With Hands Handcuffed Behind His Back – Yet He’d Just Called Girlfriend When Stopped And Said He’d Call Her From Jail

August 2, 2012

JONESBORO, ARKANSAS – Police in Jonesboro, Arkansas have launched an investigation into how 21-year-old Chavis Carter was shot in the back of a patrol car Saturday night.

Carter, who died at the hospital, was in the passenger seat of a pickup truck that was pulled over by police just before 10 pm, reports WREG. According to Officer Keith Baggett who was on the scene, Officer Ron Marsh found “some marijuana” and several new plastic baggies when he searched Carter. When they ran his information through dispatch, they found that he was wanted on a warrant in Mississippi, where he lived. The cops then handcuffed him, searched him again, and put him in the back of the patrol car. While Baggett searched the vehicle, he claims he heard “a loud thump with a metallic sound” on his trunk and saw Marsh motion to him.

The thumping noise, according to the cops, was Carter shooting himself in the head.

The police report attributed the death to a self-inflicted gunshot, though when the two officers opened the squad car door, they found Carter’s hands were still cuffed behind his back. The gun, they said, was somehow missed in both searches.

“Any given officer has missed something on a search, be it drugs, knife, razor blades, this instance it happened to be a gun,” Jonesboro Police Sergeant Lyle Waterworth said after the bizarre incident. The police believe that Chavez managed to pull out a hidden gun and shot himself in spite of the handcuffs.

Carter’s mother, Teresa, however, suspects foul play: “I think they killed him, my son wasn’t suicidal.”

According to Teresa, Carter called his girlfriend while he was pulled over to tell her he’d call her from jail. She also said her son was shot in his right temple, when he was left-handed.

The two officers involved are now on administrative leave until the investigation concludes.

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BROKE: 16 States Now Rationing Prescription Drugs For Medicaid Patients

July 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Sixteen states have set a limit on the number of prescription drugs they will cover for Medicaid patients, according to Kaiser Health News.

Seven of those states, according to Kaiser Health News, have enacted or tightened those limits in just the last two years.

Medicaid is a federal program that is carried out in partnership with state governments. It forms an important element of President Barack Obama’s health-care plan because under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act–AKA Obamcare–a larger number of people will be covered by Medicaid, as the income cap is raised for the program.

With both the expanded Medicaid program and the federal subsidy for health-care premiums that will be available to people earning up to 400 percent of the poverty level, a larger percentage of the population will be wholly or partially dependent on the government for their health care under Obamacare than are now.

In Alabama, Medicaid patients are now limited to one brand-name drug, and HIV and psychiatric drugs are excluded.

Illinois has limited Medicaid patients to just four prescription drugs as a cost-cutting move, and patients who need more than four must get permission from the state.

Speaking on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal on Monday, Phil Galewitz, staff writer for Kaiser Health News, said the move “only hurts a limited number of patients.”

“Drugs make up a fair amount of costs for Medicaid. A lot of states have said a lot of drugs are available in generics where they cost less, so they see this sort of another move to push patients to take generics instead of brand,” Galewitz said.

“It only hurts a limited number of patients, ‘cause obviously it hurts patients who are taking multiple brand name drugs in the case of Alabama, Illinois. Some of the states are putting the limits on all drugs. It’s another place to cut. It doesn’t hurt everybody, but it could hurt some,” he added.

Galewitz said the move also puts doctors and patients in a “difficult position.”

“Some doctors I talked to would work with patients with asthma and diabetes, and sometimes it’s tricky to get the right drugs and the right dosage to figure out how to control some of this disease, and just when they get it right, now the state is telling them that, ‘Hey, you’re not going to get all this coverage. You may have to switch to a generic or find another way,’” he said.

Arkansas, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia have all placed caps on the number of prescription drugs Medicaid patients can get.

“Some people say it’s a matter of you know states are throwing things up against the wall to see what might work, so states have tried, they’ve also tried formularies where they’ll pick certain brand name drugs over other drugs. So states try a whole lot of different things. They’re trying different ways of paying providers to try to maybe slow the costs down,” Galewitz said.

“So it seems like Medicaid’s sort of been one big experiment over the last number of years for states to try to control costs, and it’s an ongoing battle, and I think drugs is just now one of the … latest issues. And it’s a relatively recent thing, only in the last 10 years have we really seen states put these limits on monthly drugs,” he added.

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Dumbass Veteran Ozark Arkansas Police Officer Justin Phillips Caught Himself On His Dash Cam Calling To Warn Felon That A Warrant Had Been Issued For His Arrest

July 11, 2012

OZARK, ARKANSAS – An Ozark Police Officer is facing hindering apprehension or investigation charges. Justin Phillips, 34, is accused of warning a felony theft suspect that a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

According to court documents, Phillips called his wife on a department-issued cell phone and asked her to contact the suspect. The alleged conversation was recorded on police dash cam video.

He was arrested Tuesday morning on suspicion of corruption after an investigation that lasted several weeks. Arkansas State Police, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Ozark Police Department were a part of the investigation.

Phillips worked at the Ozark Police Department in 2000. He left for a period of time, but came back in 2003. He is being held at the Pope County Detention Center.

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Little Rock Arkansas Police Officers Mark Jones And Randall Robinson Arrested In Undercover FBI Investigation, Charged With Providing Security For Drug Shipment While On Duty And Using Marked Police Cars

May 26, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – Little Rock Police Officers Mark Jones and Randall Robinson were arrested Thursday after the FBI filed criminal complaint charges.

The two are accused of providing security for a drug shipment in return for thousands of dollars, all while the officers were reportedly on-duty and marked patrol units.

The two men had their initial appearance in a federal courtroom Friday (5/25).

An affidavit filed by the FBI has page upon page of recorded conversations, and the US Prosecuting Attorney said it isn’t the end of the evidence.

One of the officers charged and his attorney however are denying all the claims.

“My client denies what he is charged with having done,” said Mark Jones’ attorney, Ronald Davis Junior.

According to the affidavit a confidential source, undercover with the FBI, worked with Little Rock Police officer Mark Jones in delivery of a shipment of drugs.

Recorded conversation on the affidavit shows the two discussing plans to ship thousands of pounds of marijuana, needing the security of Jones.

The source told Jones he needed somebody to watch his back. Jones confirmed they needed him to follow them.

The affidavit said the two would meet at a Whole Foods grocery store in West Little Rock. Jones worked an off-duty security position there.

They met frequently to discuss plans of the operation, that eventually included Jones half-brother, Officer Randall Robinson.

Despite the abundance of evidence the affidavit shows, Davis claims there are two sides to every story and these documents won’t be enough.

He wants the conversations to be authenticated, and to prove the context in which the conversations took place.

“Those are all things you can’t do just from an affidavit.”

Whether the affidavit proves this or not, some folks walking the Little Rock streets with two police officers on the wrong side of a jail cell, still said they aren’t worried.

Toni Weatherford said, “There’s always a few bad apples… This is a beautiful city and probably nothing is going on here that isn’t going on everywhere else.”

Some even saw this a chance for the law to teach a lesson.

Lisa Beasley said, “Regardless of what city they need to make an example, and let the people know that police are not above the law.”

But it will take a judge and jury to find these two men guilty, something Davis doesn’t think will happen.

“I think our system usually gets it right and I think it will in this case.”

The US Attorney’s office thinks it will go their way and this affidavit is all they’ll need.

A trial is set for June 4th to decide if the officers will remain behind bars.

Depending on how this case goes, these two men could face up to forty years in jail, and possibly a fine around $5,000,000.

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Supreme Court Says No Double Jeopardy In Retrial After Arkansas Prosecutors First Threw Laundry List Of Charges At Jury To See What Would Stick

May 24, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC — The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a criminal defendant may be retried even though the jury in his first trial had unanimously rejected the most serious charges against him. The vote was 6 to 3, with the justices split over whether the constitutional protection against double jeopardy barred such reprosecutions.

The case arose from the death in 2007 of a 1-year-old Arkansas boy, Matthew McFadden Jr., from a head injury while he was at home with his mother’s boyfriend, Alex Blueford. The prosecution said Mr. Blueford had slammed Matthew into a mattress; Mr. Blueford said he had accidentally knocked the boy to the floor.

Mr. Blueford was charged under four theories, in decreasing order of seriousness: capital murder (though the state did not seek the death penalty), first-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide.

The jurors were instructed to consider the most serious charge first and move to the next only if they agreed unanimously that Mr. Blueford was not guilty. In this way, they were to work their way down to the appropriate conviction, or to an acquittal.

After a few hours of deliberation, the jurors announced that they were deadlocked. The forewoman told the judge that the jury had unanimously agreed that Mr. Blueford was not guilty of capital or first-degree murder but was divided, 9 to 3, in favor of guilt on the manslaughter charge.

The jury deliberated for another half-hour but could not reach a verdict. The court declared a mistrial.

Prosecutors sought to retry Mr. Blueford on all four charges. His lawyers agreed that he could be retried on the less serious ones but said double jeopardy principles should preclude his retrial for capital murder and first-degree murder.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, said Mr. Blueford could be retried on all of the charges because “the foreperson’s report was not a final resolution of anything.” When the jurors returned to their deliberations after the forewoman spoke, he said, they could have changed their minds about the two more serious charges.

“The fact that deliberations continued after the report deprives that report of the finality necessary to constitute an acquittal on the murder offenses,” the chief justice wrote. Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Stephen G. Breyer and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the majority opinion.

Mr. Blueford’s lawyers also argued that the trial judge should not have declared a mistrial without first asking the jury whether, in the end, the defendant had been found not guilty of some charges. Chief Justice Roberts said the judge had acted appropriately, as “the jury’s options in this case were limited to two: eitiher convict on one of the offenses, or aqcuit on all.”

In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that the majority had improperly given prosecutors “the proverbial second bite at the apple.”

“The forewoman’s announcement in open court that the jury was ‘unanimous against’ conviction on capital and first-degree murder,” she wrote, “was an acquittal for double jeopardy purposes.”

Justice Sotomayor said the trial judge should have asked for a partial verdict from the jury before declaring a mistrial. She added that the protections of the Constitution’s double jeopardy clause were needed in light of “the threat to individual freedom from reprosecutions that favor states and unfairly rescue them from weak cases.”

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan joined the dissent in the case, Blueford v. Arkansas, No. 10-1320.

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Little Rock Arkansas Police Officer Theddus McRae Arrested, Suspended, Charged With Drunk Driving

May 16, 2012

SHERWOOD, ARKANSAS – A central Arkansas police officer is out of jail after being arrested for DWI. Sherwood Police say they arrested a Little Rock Police officer early Saturday morning on drunk driving charges.

Sherwood police say they pulled over 40 year old Theddus McRae, around 4:30 Saturday morning, after his vehicle crossed the centerline and they also noticed he had a headlight and brake light out.

The police report of the incident says the arresting officer attempted to administer a field sobriety test without success. McRae is accused of DWI and refusing to submit to the sobriety test.

The Little Rock Police officer is on paid leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

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Dumbass Arkansas State Prison Guard Hassled Convicted Murderer Over Shoes – Ended Up Dead

January 20, 2012

LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS – A convicted murderer stabbed a female guard to death at an east Arkansas prison Friday while she was investigating whether he had an unauthorized pair of shoes, a prison spokeswoman said.

Sgt. Barbara Ester, 47, was stabbed in the side, abdomen and chest at about 12:30 p.m., said Shea Wilson, a spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Correction. Ester died about 3 p.m. at a hospital in Memphis, Tenn., about 40 miles away.

Ester, a 12-year veteran of the correction department, was a property officer who investigated whether inmates had contraband items. Wilson said the guard had received a report that Johnson had a pair of contraband shoes.

“This is obviously very difficult for the department when something tragic like this happens,” Wilson said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Ester’s family. These officers — it’s a tight-knit workplace. They look out for each other and are there together for a lot of hours of the day, so this is very difficult for everyone.”

Wilson said the prison was locked down after the attack and that the inmate, Latavious Johnson, was being moved to the state’s maximum-security unit at Varner. She said all the other inmates have been accounted for.

Johnson, 30, was serving a life sentence for first-degree murder out of Jefferson County. He was sentenced in 2000 for killing his father. Prosecutors said Johnson was 18 at the time of the crime.

Wilson said Johnson had had several disciplinary infractions, including one this week for not obeying orders, but hadn’t previously attacked a guard.

“We will move him to the supermax (prison) so he will be out of that environment … He needed to be out of that environment,” Wilson said.

Arkansas State Police and the prison’s internal affairs staff were investigating the stabbing. Wilson said authorities would turn over their information to prosecutors, who will determine whether to file charges against the inmate.

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