Photo: Jimmy Lynn Sutterfield Jr.
Following a four-hour bench trial in late January last year, Jimmy Lynn Sutterfield Jr. of Gassville was found guilty of several criminal charges and sentenced to six years in prison by Baxter County Circuit Judge John Putman. Three open cases were tried simultaneously in which Sutterfield’s charges included possession of drugs and drug paraphernalia, theft and criminal mischief.
Sutterfield filed notice he intended to appeal his convictions. He changed his mind during a session of Baxter County Circuit Court Monday and announced he would drop his appeal.
His appeal had been delayed, when it was discovered the attorney handling the matter for Sutterfield had filed a timely notice of appeal in two of the cases, but inadvertently did not file such a notice for the third case.
The lawyer said she accepts responsibility for the oversight. She did file a motion to be allowed to file a belated appeal in the third case.
The Arkansas Court of Appeals sent the case back to Baxter County Circuit Court to determine exactly who would be representing Sutterfield for purposes of appeal and if he continued to be eligible for the services of a public defender.
The hearing Monday was held to make those determinations, but then Sutterfield announced he was dropping the appeal. He told the court he was due to be released from prison in a “couple of months anyway.”
The first case opened against Sutterfield was filed in mid-October 2018 and stemmed from an encounter between the Gassville man and two Arkansas State Police troopers on Arkansas Highway 126.
One of the troopers was field training the other, and they were traveling together. Both testified during the bench trial last year.
According to the probable cause affidavit, when the troopers pulled behind the pickup truck, Sutterfield, who was driving the vehicle, is reported to have gotten out and said he was getting ready to leave the area because his “old lady just brought gas for the truck.”
Sutterfield was reported to have been “unsteady” on his feet. As the encounter continued, drugs and drug paraphernalia were found. Sutterfield was reported to have admitted drinking earlier in the day but denied any drug usage.
A bottle of vodka was also found in the truck.
The next charges were filed following an altercation at a residence along South Avenue in Cotter two days after Christmas 2018.
According to the probable cause in that case, Sutterfield had apparently come to the home in an attempt to have his then-girlfriend follow him back to his residence. She was visiting at the South Avenue address at the time of the encounter.
When she refused, Sutterfield is reported to have become angry and threatened to ram his pickup truck into the home the woman was visiting.
As the argument between Sutterfield and the female continued, the woman’s then 17-year-old son got involved when he believed he saw Sutterfield grab his mother.
The son testified during the bench trial last year that as Sutterfield was leaving the area in his truck, he threw a lawn chair at the Gassville man’s vehicle and struck it with a pitchfork.
The son told the court when Sutterfield came to the house in Cotter, “he was yelling” the mother’s name and honking his horn, “telling her to come to his truck and talk.” He described Sutterfield as “angry and drunk.”
When the woman refused Sutterfield’s request, the son testified he believed he saw Sutterfield become physical with his mother.
Sutterfield threatened the young man that he would regret taking the actions he did and then drove his truck directly into the son’s convertible doing extensive damage, according to the probable cause affidavit.
When he hit the car, one wheel of Sutterfield’s truck came off, and the son said as the Gassville man drove away, “he was throwing sparks.”
The investigating officer reported he tracked Sutterfield by using the gouge in the highway caused by the tireless wheel hub contacting the pavement until he found the disabled truck. He obtained Sutterfield’s address from the vehicle registration, went to the home, located the Gassville man and took him into custody.
The third case against Sutterfield stemmed from the passing of fake $100 bills at three Gassville businesses during July 2019.
When law officers talked to Sutterfield, he said someone had given him the funny money, but that story quickly fell apart. When confronted with the alleged falsity of his story, Sutterfield could provide no additional information on who was making the fake money.
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