Couple brought back to BC to answer charges against them

Photos: Bridgette Clark and Luke Daniel Patterson

The lives of two people in trouble with the law in Baxter County have been intertwined both socially and criminally in the recent past, according to court records.

The names of 44-year-old Bridgette Clark and 38-year-old Luke Daniel Patterson appear in several criminal cases filed in Baxter county.

They have recently been no-shows during circuit court sessions, but have now been caught and extradited to Baxter County from Onslow County, North Carolina. They were both booked into the county jail Aug. 5 and made appearances in circuit court Thursday, where they pled not guilty to charges against them.

In the newest charges filed against Clark, she is accused of stealing slightly more than $23,000 from a motel where she worked as manager for about three months last year. According to the probable cause affidavit in the motel theft case, Clark allegedly used several methods to take money from the business. She was reported to have rented rooms for cash and pocketed the money. Two occupants said Clark offered them discounts if they paid in cash.

Clark was also reported to have falsified time sheets of staff members who had not actually worked during the days and times shown. Clark is alleged to have made checks payable to herself. There were reported to be two signatures on one of the checks — the employee’s and Clark’s. The housekeeper told investigators she had not signed the check and had not received any proceeds from the check.

During the time she was managing the motel, both Clark and Patterson are reported to have lived there together. In the probable cause affidavit, Patterson is described as “Clark’s known boyfriend.”

During 2018, the Mountain Home Police Department reported receiving numerous complaints of drug use and other illegal activity at the motel. MHPD officers, along with those from the Arkansas Department of Community Correction, went to the motel to conduct a number of compliance visits.

According to court records, there was a significant number of parolees and probationers listing the motel as their place of residence. Both Clark and Patterson were described as being under the supervision of an Arkansas Community Correction officer — indicating they were on probation or parole — while living at the motel.

Officers first encountered Clark when they arrived to do the compliance checks. She was asked where Patterson could be located. Clark was said to have led the officers on a roundabout route, finally stopping at an upstairs bedroom. The officers said Clark “attempted to warn Patterson before opening the door that law enforcement was present.”

When the door was opened, Patterson was said to have tried to hide, but was located and arrested. Officers found drug paraphernalia and a syringe containing a clear liquid that had been thrown behind a refrigerator.

In a purse in the front desk area identified as belonging to Clark, officers found an unknown substance believed to be Fentanyl and a small bag containing six pills identified as Oxycodone.

The cases filed against Clark and Patterson are listed as inactive, since both disappeared before those cases could be concluded. An alias warrant was issued for Patterson in September last year and for Clark about two months later, after both were no-shows for court sessions.

The first case in which both Clark and Patterson are mentioned was filed in early January 2017. A report was made of the theft of an engine from a vintage Ford Mustang, along with various auto parts — estimated to cost $4,500–from a storage unit on Buzzard Roost Road. The victim told investigators Clark and Patterson were among the very few people who knew he rented the unit and what it contained.

The victim reported seeing some of his stolen items on social media and recognized the garage where the photos were taken as belonging to Patterson and Clark by the carpet on the floor.

Clark denied any involvement in removing the engine and parts from the storage unit. She did at one point admit the items had been put in her garage, but contended two men brought the items there. She said one of the men was named “Nate” and the other was known only as “B.”

Eventually, Patterson was given three years in prison in the engine theft case, as well as on additional charges he had stolen power tools from a business along State Highway 201 South while he worked there. Clark was given 12 months misdemeanor probation for the role she played in the engine theft case.

Patterson and Clark have not made it easy to keep their cases on track. They have disappeared for stretches of time, resulting in failure-to-appear-warrants being issued. The company holding the bail bond is responsible for tracking them down and getting them back or forfeiting the face value of the bond.

As he has done in the past, Patterson listed a Lone Oak, Virginia, address when he was booked into jail Aug. 5. In his various court cases, he has listed addresses in Mountain Home, Yellville, Bull Shoals and Fayetteville.

Patterson and Clark both face the drug-related charges stemming from their 2018 arrest at the motel Clark was then managing. Clark will also be answering to charges she stole money from the business.

Both Patterson and Clark were ordered to make reappearances in circuit court in January.

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