Pros­e­cu­tor: Still time to try mur­der sus­pect

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - BUSINESS SHOWCASE - RON WOOD Ron Wood can be reached by email at rwood@nwadg.com or on Twit­ter @NWARDW.

FAYET­TEVILLE — Wash­ing­ton County pros­e­cu­tors said Mon­day they haven’t taken too long to try Jimmy Lee Han­cock, who is charged with mur­der, and he shouldn’t be re­leased from jail.

Po­lice found the body of An­thony Dell Jack­son, 58, un­der a pavil­ion at Walker Park, 10 W. 15th St., about 11:15 p.m. Aug. 31, 2015, ac­cord­ing to a pre­lim­i­nary po­lice re­port. Jack­son was stabbed in the neck and head.

Han­cock, 50, was found near a knife and Jack­son’s body, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice re­port. Han­cock ap­peared to have blood on him.

Han­cock was ar­rested the same night and booked the next day into the Wash­ing­ton County Jail.

He pleaded not guilty Oct. 2, 2015, to charges of first-de­gree mur­der, ag­gra­vated as­sault and ter­ror­is­tic threat­en­ing. First-de­gree mur­der is pun­ish­able by 10 to 40 years or life in prison.

The case has been con­tin­ued at least eight times. De­lays have in­cluded wait­ing for ev­i­dence re­ports from the Arkansas State Crime Lab and when Han­cock changed lawyers.

The case is set for trial Aug. 16 be­fore Wash­ing­ton County Cir­cuit Judge Joanna Tay­lor.

Au­tumn Tol­bert filed mo­tions Fri­day say­ing Han­cock has been in jail since his ar­rest and the case should be dis­missed for fail­ure to com­ply with speedy trial rules.

Pros­e­cu­tors have a year to bring a per­son to trial but any de­lays in a case are charged to the side re­spon­si­ble for them.

Chreea Booher, deputy pros­e­cu­tor, filed a re­sponse Mon­day say­ing the time will not have run by the date Han­cock’s trial is set to be­gin.

“As of Aug. 16, 2017, the amount of time that has been charged to the state is 357 days and, there­fore, speedy trial has not been vi­o­lated and the de­fen­dant is not en­ti­tled to be re­leased for a vi­o­la­tion of such,” ac­cord­ing to the re­sponse.

Han­cock is be­ing held at the Wash­ing­ton County De­ten­tion Cen­ter on a $250,000 bond. Jack­son and Han­cock were home­less, po­lice said.

A wit­ness told po­lice Han­cock had been in­volved in an as­sault and threat­en­ing in­ci­dent be­fore the killing hap­pened.

The wit­ness also told po­lice Han­cock held a knife to his chest be­cause he re­fused to drink with Han­cock. The wit­ness de­scribed a knife sim­i­lar to what was re­cov­ered near Jack­son, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

The wit­ness told po­lice he saw Jack­son and Han­cock to­gether be­fore a po­lice of­fi­cer ar­rived on pa­trol.

Han­cock told po­lice he was at the pavil­ion with Jack­son and the wit­ness, but he didn’t re­mem­ber how Jack­son died. Han­cock also told po­lice he didn’t as­sault the wit­ness.

Han­cock

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