MH man gets prison time on charges in 4 criminal cases

In a fairly short span of time during the spring and summer last year, four criminal cases were set up against 24-year-old Joseph William Rowden of Mountain Home.Rowden entered a guilty plea to the charges against him in those cases during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court Thursday and was given a six-year prison sentence, with four years to serve and two suspended.Charges contained in the four cases include possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, selling an allegedly stolen gun and stealing a 1996 three-quarter ton truck.In the earliest of the cases, Rowden was arrested in late April last year after Mountain Home Police officers responded to an address along Baer Street, after being told a violent domestic altercation might be in progress.

When officers arrived, Rowden and another male were in the process of leaving the residence in a vehicle. The two men told officers no domestic disturbance had taken place, and no one had called for law enforcement. Officers were not able to develop evidence that an altercation of any kind had occurred.

According to the probable cause affidavit, the two women in the residence did not appear to have been injured in any way. One of the women did have an active arrest warrant issued in Marion County. She was taken into custody on the warrant.

As the investigation continued, the officers found drugs and drug paraphernalia in both the vehicle occupied by Rowden and the other male and in the residence.

The probable cause affidavit gives no indication as to who might have contacted the police department about the alleged domestic altercation or the motive behind the apparently false report.

In late July last year, Rowden was arrested twice. He was first charged with theft of property for allegedly stealing a truck. A witness told Mountain Home Police Rowden had been seen driving the stolen vehicle in the area of County Road 28 and State Highway 201 North. The truck was eventually recovered on the parking lot of a local manufacturing facility.

The truck's owner said Rowden did not have permission to be driving the vehicle.

Also in July, Mountain Home police were tipped that Rowden, who had several active arrest warrants, was expected to arrive at a local apartment complex. Officers set up positions in and around the complex. When Rowden arrived, he was taken into custody without incident. Officers reported seeing him reach down between the passenger seat and the center console of the vehicle. They found a small container in the area holding a white crystalline substance.

Rowden picked up a possession of methamphetamine charge from that incident.

In September, Rowden was charged with possessing and then selling an allegedly stolen firearm.

According to investigators, the victim reported the gun stolen in mid-June. Rowden and a female were named as suspects because they had both been in the victim's residence at the time the gun went missing. Rowden and the female denied being involved in the theft when interviewed by police, but it was discovered the Mountain Home man had sold the stolen weapon to another person.

In addition to theft by receiving, Rowden was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Rowden has been in the Baxter County Detention Center since Sept. 13th last year. He will remain there awaiting bed space to open in the state prison system.

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