PHILLIPS COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) - Many felony cases are being dropped after authorities failed to record critical information into the state's crime database.
According to prosecuting attorney Fletcher Long, his office is having to throw out a number of cases because the Phillips County Sheriff's Department failed to serve warrants and input data into the Arkansas Crime Information Center.
Two weeks ago, circuit judge Richard Proctor issued a court order to Sheriff Ronnie White to serve all fugitive warrants. So far, Long and his staff have thrown out 197 cases and they could even be forced to throw out more because of dated information, lack of witnesses, and in some cases, the arresting deputy is no longer with the department.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette says most of the charges include theft, forgery, burglary, and lower-felony drug offenses.
Long says they're working on the oldest and non-violent cases first. The court order says it intends to address the heavy backlog of cases this summer.