July 30, 2016
11:56 am
Rain: 7am to 7am: .63"  Month: 6.13”  Year: 33.04"  |  Recorded temps:  High: 88 Low: 68
Local news stories
         A proposal to alter Dawt Mill dam on the North Fork of the White River has been submitted. Laurie Driver with the Army Corps of Engineers said it's a ...Read More
               Arkansas State University Mountain Home and Baxter Healthcare are among twenty workforce-training programs involving new collaborations between colleges, employers ...Read More
               The Fulton County Fair wraps up tonight with the ATV rodeo. The rodeo begins at 6 in the rodeo arena. Motor sport fans can watch events featuring dirt bikes, ...Read More
     The Highland School Board voted unanimously to buy Superintendent Tracy Webb out of of her remaining contract.      Following a two hour executive session at the regularly scheduled board ...Read More
     A sex offender is accused of falsifying the address of his residence. The Baxter County Sheriff's Office arrested 56-year-old Chris Alan Gladney and booked him into the Detention Center Thursday on a charge of Failure ...Read More
     A special session of the Cotter School Board is scheduled for Saturday evening at seven in the administration board room. The lone item on the agenda is personnel matters. An executive session may be ...Read More
     A sex offender is now registered as homeless in Boone County. According to Boone County Sheriff Mike Moore, 41-year-old Robert Thomas Reed is no longer living at his residence on Hugh Bell ...Read More
     A Newton County inmate is back in custody more than a week after he escaped from the jail in Jasper. According to Newton County Sheriff Keith Slape, 31-year-old Ryan Lessley Campbell turned himself to the Boone County ...Read More
     A proposal to alter a dam on the North Fork of the White River has been submitted. Dawt Mill applied for a permit through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to alter the dam where a 13-year-old Springfield girl drowned ...Read More
     Arkansas State University Mountain Home and Baxter Healthcare are among twenty workforce-training programs involving new collaborations between colleges, employers and high schools that have been awarded state grants ...Read More
     With the summer well in progress, the Twin Lakes Area can expect several kinds of bugs and insects throughout the season. One of the larger insects to be seen is the dragonfly, and it can be seen in large numbers ...Read More
               The Salvation Army and Anytime Fitness are partnering together in an effort to help children in Baxter and Marion counties acquire shoes, socks and undergarments ...Read More
     A presentation was made to a local charity Thursday at Marchant Building Center in Mountain Home. A kid's playhouse was donated by the Twin Lakes Home Builders to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for ...Read More
         The Fulton County Fair will feature the annual truck pull Friday night. The event begins at 7 in the Clayton-Plumlee-Walling Arena.      The classes featured include ...Read More
     Thursday's special session of the Mountain Home School Board lasted less than an hour and went straight into executive session to fill a few more positions. Jenny Fitzmaurice was hired as a new teacher at Pinkston ...Read More
     Motorists traveling on South School Street in Gassville will want to use caution over the next several days. Gassville Mayor Jeff Braim says personnel will be working on or near the street for a few weeks to conduct ...Read More
     Nicholas Roos, who was sentenced to life without parole in a double murder case involving an elderly Midway couple, is now attempting to back out of his guilty plea.
     Roos, Zach Grayham and Mikayla Mynk allegedly entered the home of Donald and Ladonna Rice November 7th last year, killed them, robbed the house and then torched the residence.
     The bodies of the Rice couple were found in the rubble of their home several days after the fire and the remains were identified by the State Medical Examiner.
     Roos, Mynk and Grayham were arrested within days of the event.
     Roos, who was sentenced May 24th, has filed handwritten motions asking that his guilty plea be withdrawn. He alleges that his decision to plead guilty was "coerced" and that his attorneys did an inadequate job of representing him. Two attorneys on the staff of the Arkansas Public Defender's Commission represented Roos.
     At least in the initial filings, Roos is acting as his own attorney. In addition, a court order has been issued granting him permission to proceed as a person who does not have the funds to hire a lawyer or to pay for the production of the various documents and records that he might need in seeking post-conviction relief.
     Roos had other cases pending in which he faced a number of charges. Eventually, most of those were dismissed or folded into the guilty plea he made to the more serious capital murder and arson charges.
     In his petition to withdraw his guilty plea, Roos writes that he had been in a mental institution at one time for "hurting himself" and that he had subsequently developed a serious drug problem that left him with "mental and physical illnesses".  He contends in his petition that despite these mental problems, his attorneys failed to approach the court about ordering what he described as "competency tests".
     Roos further alleges that he had been told that it would be difficult to mount a defense for him and that if he insisted on going before a jury, he would most likely be sentenced to death. He alleges that while in the Baxter County jail, he was informed at one point that if he "told what he knew", his girlfriend (Mikayla Mynk) would be released.  He said he made a "short statement" with no lawyer present.
     Before a plea is accepted in Baxter County Circuit Court, the defendant initials that he has read each section of the document laying out the plea and sentence he is to receive and then signs the document.
     There are several questions asked of the defendant as he stands before the bench during the plea and sentencing process.
     A defendant is asked if he understands that by accepting a plea arrangement, he is waiving the right to a jury trial as well as his right to appeal. He is also asked if he has made the decision to enter a guilty plea freely and voluntarily and that he has not been threatened or promised anything in return for his plea. The defendant is also asked if he is pleading guilty because he is, in fact, guilty.
     As Judge Gordon Webb was moving through the plea taking process on May 24th, he asked Roos directly, "did you engage in actions with a firearm causing the death of two people -- the Rices?" Roos admitted that he had.
     The Rules of Criminal Proceedure state that a "defendant may not withdraw his plea of guilty as a matter of right after it has been accepted by the court. However, before entry of judgement, the court may allow the defendant to withdraw his plea to correct what is termed a "manifest injustice".
     Examples of manifest injustice include denial of effective counsel, that it can be proven the plea was involuntary or was not ratified by the defendant or a person authorized to do so on his behalf.
     Petitions for post-conviction relief are fairly common. In fact, according to one published article, a large number of petitions seeking post-conviction relief are filed each year -- most coming from inmates in the Arkansas Department of Correction.
     They were described as "invariably handwritten and lengthy". A charge of inadequate representation is a common feature of the petitions. The article pointed out that most of the petitions were "without merit".
    Roos is being held in the Varner Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction. Grayham and Mynk are currently inmates in the Baxter County jail awaiting trial.
ABC national news
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI is investigating the cybertheft of proprietary information collected by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, but the campaign says no internal computer systems were hacked.The investigation comes on the heels of two other FBI investigations into hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.As news surfaced of a potential hack into campaign computers, a campaign spokesman issued a statement late Friday saying,
iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- A suspect has been charged and another potential suspect is in custody in a "gut-wrenching" shooting in San Diego that left one officer dead and another injured, police said.Jesse Michael Gomez, 52, was charged with murder and attempted in the shooting, police said. The circumstances were not immediately clear.Another potential suspect, whose name ABC News is wittholding because he has not been charged, was located for an outstanding warrant. It wasn't determined
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The FBI is investigating a potential hack on at least some of the Clinton campaign's computer systems.The investigation comes on the heels of two other FBI investigations into hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic National Convention Committee."The FBI is aware of media reporting on cyber intrusions involving multiple political entities, and is working to determine the accuracy, nature and scope of these matters. The cyber threat environment cont
Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune/MCT via Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Former Illinois cop and convicted killer Drew Peterson was sentenced Friday to an additional 40 years in prison, on top of the 38 year sentence he is currently serving for the murder of his wife.In May, a jury in Randolph County, Illinois, found Peterson guilty of trying order a hit on a State's Attorney who helped convict the ex-cop in 2012, ABC's Chicago station WLS-TV reported.Back then, Peterson was found guilty of murdering his
U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Gregory Moore, 3rd MAW Combat Camera/Released(TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif.) -- An F/A-18C Hornet fighter jet crashed near Twentynine Palms, California, Thursday night, killing the pilot on board.According to the Marine Corps, the pilot was conducting a training mission out of Air Station Miramar, just north of San Diego. The crash occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. local time.The Marine Corps said in a statement that the cause of the crash is currently under investi
iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — A police officer and father of two is dead, and another cop is injured after they were shot in San Diego Thursday night.One suspect has been taken into police custody. Police said they were searching for additional suspects.The shooting happened after the two officers, both assigned to the gang unit, made a stop around 11 p.m. local time. The officers called for emergency cover and were shot multiple times, police said.One officer died from gunshot wounds. Th
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A wildfire on California's northern coast is gaining ground one week after it started, threatening an expanding number of homes and businesses. The blaze has destroyed 41 homes, seven of them in the last day, as it approaches 30,000 acres in size, with only 15 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire.About 2,000 structures surrounding the wildfire are in danger, according to authorities, and the fir
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- The father of one of 14 American Muslims who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in the ten years that followed the 9/11 attacks, took direct aim at Donald Trump Thursday night during a speech at the DNC, suggesting the GOP presidential candidate brush up on the Constitution."If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America," said Khizr Khan, whose son Humayun S. M. Khan, was killed by a car bomb in Iraq in 2004. "Donald Trump consistently smears the
ABC News(PHILADELPHIA) -- The father of one of 14 American Muslims who died serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in the ten years that followed the 9/11 attacks, took direct aim at Donald Trump Thursday night during a speech at the DNC, suggesting the GOP presidential candidate brush up on the Constitution."If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America," said Khizr Khan, whose son Humayun S. M. Khan, was killed by a car bomb in Iraq in 2004. "Donald Trump consistently smears the
iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) --  The Baltimore police officers who were charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray are all back to work in paid administrative positions after charges were dismissed against the three remaining officers involved, according to the officers' attorneys and the Baltimore police union.However, the officers still don't have their normal police powers, like making arrests. They will also face an internal affairs review that will determine whether or not th
iStock/Thinkstock(ORLANDO) -- A Florida man who was arrested for alleged drug possession says that what police thought was methamphetamine was actually just glazed doughnut crumbs."It's a terrible feeling to go to jail when you have not done anything,” Dan Rushing, 64, of Orlando, told local ABC affiliate WFTV. "I just don't want this to happen to somebody else."Rushing said police found the crumbs of his bi-monthly Krispy Kreme treat in his car, and mistook the icing flakes for drugs afte
Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A man once convicted of the murder of Washington, D.C., intern Chandra Levy will not be retried, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia said Thursday.The U.S. Attorney's office moved to dismiss the case charging Ingmar Guandique with Levy's murder after the office concluded that "it can no longer prove the murder case against Mr. Guandique beyond a reasonable doubt."Guandique was convicted of Levy’s murder in 2010, but his conviction was later overturned
DigitalVision/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- It was a frightening moment for the 130 passengers and six crew members on board an American Airlines flight Wednesday night.American Airlines Flight 438, an Airbus A321, had just departed from Dallas-Fort Worth en route to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport when flames were seen shooting out of the back of the engine, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.One passenger, who wishes to remain unnamed, shot a video from inside the plane showing emer