Week in Review 1-6 to 1-12

Law enforcement searching for MH man

A Mountain Home man, 29-year-old John Downing, has been added to the Most Wanted list at the Baxter County Sheriff's Office after two bench warrants were secured and full extradition authorized.

In August 2018, Downing was charged with a felony count of theft of property in connection with an incident involving a contractual agreement for a new roof.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the victim in the case told a Baxter County Sheriff's Office criminal investigator he entered into the agreement with Downing for a new roof for his home. The victim alleges he paid Downing $2,250 on May 31st.

At the time Downing was charged, he allegedly had not returned to the residence. The victim says he had called Downing several times and was given different responses such as "we will be there tomorrow" and "you're the next house." At some point, the victim's calls were no longer returned.

The victim told the sheriff's investigator he has not received any materials or work for his payment.

Last August, online jail records indicated Downing was booked into the Baxter County Detention Center and released about 15 minutes later.

In November, a failure to appear warrant was issued after Downing failed to make a scheduled appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court.

Downing's last known address was along Pheasant Run Trail.

He is described as 5 foot, 11 inches, weighing 165 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes.

His cash bond has been set at $6,400.

Anyone with any information about Downing's whereabouts is asked to contact the Baxter County Sheriff's Office at 870-425-7000.


Armed, masked intruders hold man at gunpoint while ransacking Fulton County residence

Three adults and a juvenile have been arrested and charged for allegedly entering a Fulton County home armed and wearing masked, where they proceeded to ransack the residence, strike the occupant in the chest and force him to his knees.

According to the probable cause affidavits filed Monday, 26-year-old Devante Paige, 21-year-old Ashley Ladd and 19-year-old James Parrish have all been charged with felony aggravated residential burglary, with $100,000 bonds. The juvenile, 17-year-old David Mullins is listed on the affidavits for the other three suspects, but online records do not include a separate record for him. Addresses for the suspects are not listed on the documents.

Court records say the suspects allegedly kicked in the door of the home on North Pickren in Salem last Wednesday. They reportedly told the occupant of the home if he valued his life, he would get on the floor, as Paige held him at gunpoint. The other three suspects tore the house apart and fled with the man's cellphone.

The occupant of the home met law enforcement at the door, told the officer what had occurred and handed him the magazine from the intruders' gun. He also said he had surveillance cameras and would bring photos to the Fulton County Sheriff's Office the following day.

In addition to providing the photos to law enforcement, the occupant of the home uploaded them to social media, leading to information being received regarding the suspects.

Law enforcement also received video footage from the Ash Flat Walmart reportedly showing three of the four suspects purchasing items used in the aggravated burglary. Those items included a BB gun with the appearance of a semi automatic pistol, gloves and bandanas. The footage also provided images of their vehicle and the license tag.

The vehicle was tracked to a residence along New Hope Road in Hardy, where Mullins and Parrish were found.

Parrish allegedly told officers he had shown Paige and Mullins where three "dope houses" were located that needed to be robbed because dealers in illegal drugs resided there. The residences were located in Salem and Horseshoe Bend.


Pedestrian struck, killed by minivan in Summit

A pedestrian was killed Friday evening in Summit. According to the Arkansas State Police, 65-year-old Donnie Paxton of Summit was pronounced dead at the scene 1/10 of a mile west of the four-way stop after being struck by a minivan.

Paxton was walking on the paved portion on Arkansas Highway 202. The minivan, traveling eastbound, struck Paxton on the roadway.

The weather was clear, but road was wet in 6:20 p.m. accident.


Considerable damage reported when vehicle strikes MH residence

Details have been released on an accident Tuesday causing considerable damage to a Mountain Home residence when it was struck by a parked car shoved into it by a second vehicle.

According to the report from the Mountain Home Police Department, the accident occurred when a vehicle driven by 48-year-old Michael Fretueg of Mountain Home traveling north on Meadowbrook Drive left the roadway and struck a parked car knocking it into a residence. The impact caused considerable damage to the vehicles and the home.

The report noted after the impact, Fretueg attempted to back out, but found his vehicle inoperable. Law enforcement found him slumped over and unresponsive to commands and yelling.

A Mountain Home Police officer was able to get the vehicle window down, grab the keys and open the door to reach Fretueg.

The report noted Fretueg resisted efforts from both law enforcement and emergency medical personnel, as they tried to render aid.

Fretueg was transported by ambulance to Baxter Regional Medical Center. No other injuries were reported.

Damage estimates were listed as $15,000 to the residence, $10,000 to the parked car and $8,500 to Fretueg's vehicle.

Both vehicles were towed from the scene of the 1:58 p.m. crash.


Lakeview man accused of stealing from local farm

A Lakeview man serving a suspended sentence is accused of stealing from a local farm. Twenty-seven-year-old Jacob Caple was booked into the Baxter County Detention Center Friday evening on a felony count of breaking or entering and a misdemeanor count of theft of property. He was released Monday afternoon after posting $5,000 bond.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim reported to a Baxter County Sheriff's criminal investigator Dec. 16th his farm truck was broken into, and several items, including a firearm, were stolen. During the course of the investigation, it was later discovered a welder was missing from the victim's barn.

During periodic online checks, the investigator found on a pawn shop reporting system a welder matching the description being pawned for $100 in Springfield on Nov. 30th. Caple was developed as a suspect a few days earlier for the break-in of the victim's vehicle, which will be covered in another case. The victim was reportedly able to describe the welder by the red paint used to mark his father's welder.

Caple told law enforcement he has had the welder for over a year or at least nine months. He asked authorities to verify it with his mother and stepfather, but they reportedly stated they've never seen a welder and never moved it for him. Caple also stated he was with his cousin when he purchased the welder from someone working on a construction job with them, but the cousin said he didn't know about Caple purchasing a welder. A person Caple claimed to buy the welder from told investigators he never sold Caple a welder or anything else.

Caple was sentenced to 10 years in prison in February 2015 with three to serve and seven suspended on two cases. The more serious charges stemmed from a home invasion in the early morning hours of March 21st, 2013. Caple and his co-defendent, Christian Sisk, broke into a residence on Old Military Road. They entered the bedroom where the victim, then 18-year-old Luke Douglas, was sleeping. Caple and Sisk allegedly pulled him out of bed, and Sisk held Douglas down as Caple assaulted him.

Caple is expected to appear in Baxter County Circuit Court.

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