Week in Review 12-10 to 12-16

Roos to appeal conviction

Nicholas Roos, who has been sentenced to life without parole for killing an elderly Midway couple and burning their house to the ground to cover evidence, has now filed a motion asking Circuit Judge Gordon Webb to reconsider his decision to deny a request for post conviction relief in the Rule 37 petition.

Judge Webb recently denied Roos'initial effort to obtain post conviction relief in a 24-page decision filed in late November.

The agruments in a recent handwritten motion clearly indicate the document was done by the 26 year-old-Roos acting, Pro se, where he represented himself as is own lawyer.

He alleged not one of the lawyers who has represented him had done a good job, mainly because they had not properly investigate his mental conditions.

When they testified at the time of the Rule 37 hearing in March, his two original lawyers, Katherine Street amd Teri Chambers-- who have handled more than 100 capital murder cases--told the court they did not seek a mental evalauton because, in their view, there was litte chance in being sucessful with a defense based on mental disease and defect.

One of the lawyers called the evidence against Roos "overwhelming". It was brought out that in the planning for the robbery, Roos had gotten a friend to buy a gun for him, knowing Roos, as a felon, could not own firearms.

The prosecutor, who argued the original petition, told the court even if Roos had mental problems in the past, no evidence had been introduced he was suffering from any mental problems when he shot and killed the Rice couple.

In his new petition, Roos wrote "every attorney appointed to me so far has preyed on my mental insecurties and my ignorance--- this is not right nor is it justice."


Amended court records filed in former Flippin police chief case

Amended online court records have been filed by the Administrative Office of the Courts regarding the case of former Flippin Police Chief Ronald "Dusty" Smith.

On Wednesday, the online court records indicated Smith had made an appearance in Marion County Circuit Court Wednesday morning entering a plea of not guilty to the charge of felony theft of property. The online information indicated Smith would apply for the services of the public defender's office.

The charge follows Smith being arrested in late November after being relieved of his duties with the Flippin Police Department.

On Thursday, the online court records had been amended. The records now reflect attorney Paul Bayless as Smith's counsel and that Smith did not appear before the court. Instead, the record indicates Bayless filed an entry of appearance and waiver of arraignment.

Smith's case was set for pretrial on February 14th, with a final date to accept or reject the plea on April 25th, before proceeding to trial the week of May 4th.

According to the arrest affidavit, Arkansas State Police initiated an investigation at the request of 14th Judicial Prosecuting Attorney David Ethredge into the misuse of over $8,000 in funds from the City of Flippin.

An unidentified part-time employee, charged with keeping the city's records, had reported the misuse of funds to Flippin City Mayor Jerald Marberry. According to the employee, she received an email from a bank saying Smith's city credit card was within 20 percent of its limit. This was a concern because Smith was apparently on vacation from the Flippin Police Department and heading to Florida to work for a private company. An October bank statement noted of the $3,700 on Smith's card, 90 percent of those charges was from outside the state of Arkansas.

Flippin police officers may use their issued credit cards for business purposes only, specifically for fuel or work equipment.


Lakeview woman remains hospitalalized following fire, charges pending

A Lakeview woman, 80-year-old Irene Srebalus, remained hospitalized Tuesday with charges pending following a fire Monday afternoon.

Grover Township Fire Chief Jim Sierzchula says the blaze was originally reported as a brush fire but developed into a structure fire. It began from burning garbage at a residence at 239 Cove Road in Lakeview and spread to both U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other private property. While there was no damage reported to the home where the fire began, two outbuildings on the other landowner's property were a total loss. The fire also consumed about two acres of Corps property.

Chief Sierzchula says the woman sustained third degree burns on her arm and was transported to Baxter Regional Medical Center, where she reportedly remained hospitalized Tuesday morning.

Charges from both the Lakeview Police Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are pending.

Corps of Engineers Mountain Home Project Office Deputy Operations Manager Mark Case confirmed a citation for failure to contain a fire on Corps land was written and will be issued upon the woman's dismissal from the hospital.

Lakeview Police Chief David Hotchkiss says Srebalus was cited for violation of a city burning ordinance and a criminal offense of unlawful burning. He noted the estimated loss of the two sheds and the contents on the adjoining neighbor's property is $28,000.

The Lakeview case was the second incident Monday involving charges following a fire.

Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery says his department and the Tracy Volunteer Fire Department were called to 6032 County Road 55 for an out-of -control fire about 12:45 Monday afternoon.

When a sheriff's deputy arrived, the fire had already spread onto the neighbor’s property.

The deputy made contact with 36-year-old Joseph Young who admitted to burning boxes, and the fire got away from him and spread.

While the deputy advised Young to stay there while he assisted the fire department, when he returned the Mountain Home man had left the scene.

A check of Arkansas Crime Information Center revealed Young had an outstanding warrant out of the Gassville Police Department, and his driver’s license was suspended. Phone contact was made with Young, and he drove back to the scene with his teenage daughter. Young was placed under arrest and transported to the Baxter County Detention Center. The daughter was arrested on outstanding warrants and turned over to Baxter County Juvenile Services.

Young's charges also included second degree driving on a suspended license. He is currently being held on $2,535 bond pending his appearance in Baxter County District Court in January.

Meanwhile, a fire in the Oakland Promise Land area is under investigation, with Chief Ron Everroad advising a human factor was involved in starting the blaze.

Oakland Promise Land firemen responded to the blaze late morning at 84 Jeanne Lane Road, off of County Road 118 in Marion County. Chief Everroad says while a small outbuilding was lost, firemen were able to save three homes threatened by the blaze.

The Clarkridge and Midway departments, along with the Arkansas Forestry Commission, rendered mutual aid in the fire that threatened a shed. No injuries were reported from the fire.

Chief Everroad reminds area residents of the burn ban that remains in effect. He also urges residents not to discard cigarettes and ashes from wood stoves.

Lakeview Police Chief Hotchkiss adds no open flames are allowed under the burn ban, including barbecue grills.


Micro Plactics aquired by UK based Essentra

Arkansas plastic-maker Micro Plastics Inc. has been acquired by component-maker Essentra PLC, based in the United Kingdom. According to the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, the privately owned Micro Plastics in Flippin, employs about 400 workers and has been in the city since 1975, according to the company website. Founded in 1961 in the Chicago suburbs, Micro Plastics today operates a 230,000-square-foot factory in Flippin and produces 10,000 items, including screws, nuts, washers, spacers and other items. it also has a manufacturing and warehouse operation in Monterrey, Mexico.

For the fiscal year that ended on June 30, Micro Plastics booked earnings of $1.7 million on revenue of $26.8 million, according to a release.

Tom Hill, owner of Micro Plastics and son of the company founder Roy Hill, confirmed that the sale of the company closed Wednesday. He referred further questions concerning the deal to the corporate offices of the company's new owner, Essentra PLC.

The specifics of the deal were not announced, but according to a release Micro Plastics was acquired on a cash-free, debt-free basis, funded from existing facilities. Attempts to reach representatives of Essentra by email were unsuccessful Wednesday afternoon.

"The acquisition of Micro Plastics is consistent with our strategic objective in components of identifying value-adding acquisition growth opportunities to consolidate our position as an expert manufacturer and distributor of a worldwide range of low cost components," Paul Forman, chief executive officer of Essentra, said in the release. "In addition, through the site in Monterrey, we will extend our manufacturing footprint and gain access to a number of high growth end-markets -- such as white goods and automotives in Mexico."


Local man buys $1 million lottery ticket

Friday morning started out like many other Friday mornings for Norfork resident Eddie Baker, as he headed into Mountain Home to pick up items for the Norfork Fire Department where he is employed. Without having had any breakfast, he made an unplanned stop at White Oak Station #9 located at 1124 Highway 62 East, for a cup of coffee. And then he decided perhaps he would purchase a couple of lottery tickets, a decision that changed his Friday, his week, and perhaps his life.



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Baker says the attendant was even more excited than he was, although he says he still feels like he's in a dream.

The first person he called to share the news with was his wife, Crystal, a special education teacher at Norfork Schools. Baker says when he told her the news, she didn't believe him.



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He says it took sending his wife a picture of the winning ticket before she would believe him. Then came tears of joy.

With the $1 million ticket safely tucked away in a bank's safe deposit box, Baker is planning his next steps carefully.



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At this point, while their Christmas shopping is completed, he plans to write each of their combined seven children a check. Baker says he will pay off the small amount of debt he and his wife have and probably buy her a new vehicle. But for him, he plans to keep driving the same truck he's currently driving, the one that he drove into Mountain Home on what had started as an ordinary Friday morning.

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