Al­tus man faces trial in mur­der

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

OZARK — An Al­tus man has been or­dered to stand trial Aug. 1 on a charge of first­de­gree mur­der in the Jan. 31 shoot­ing death of 44-year-old Dena Han­cock of Ozark.

Ja­son Eu­gene Hous­ton, 37, was on Thurs­day’s ar­raign­ment docket in Franklin County Cir­cuit Court but did not ap­pear in court. Prose­cut­ing At­tor­ney David Gibbons said Hous­ton en­tered an in­no­cent plea in a hear­ing be­fore Judge Wil­liam Pear­son on Feb. 9.

The public de­fender’s of­fice was ap­pointed to rep­re­sent Hous­ton, Gibbons said.

His bond was set at $1 mil­lion.

Han­cock was found dead from a sin­gle gun­shot wound in her home off Arkansas 219 near Ozark, ac­cord­ing to a prob­a­ble cause af­fi­davit filed in Cir­cuit Court. Hous­ton con­fessed to the slay­ing, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Hous­ton was stay­ing in Han­cock’s home, and they ar­gued be­fore her death, Franklin County Sher­iff An­thony Boen said.

On Jan. 31, Han­cock called friends, say­ing she was fright­ened and wanted them to come to her res­i­dence, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. Wit­nesses saw Hous­ton leav­ing the house and found Han­cock dead in­side.

Hous­ton was ar­rested that night by po­lice in Van Buren af­ter he rammed his ve­hi­cle into an Arkansas State Po­lice trooper’s cruiser.

Hous­ton pleaded in­no­cent last week in Craw­ford County Cir­cuit Court to one count of at­tempted cap­i­tal mur­der and one of felony crim­i­nal mis­chief in con­nec­tion with the ram­ming.

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