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— NW Ark woman charged with murder of her baby

HARRISBURG — A northwest Arkansas woman is accused of killing her infant daughter by putting her in scalding water and then into a dryer, states Arkansas Online.

The Jonesboro Sun reported that authorities arrested 25-year-old Tyra Neal this week on charges of second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse after investigators found her 1-month-old child in a dryer.

Poinsett County Detective William Holmes said at a Thursday probable cause hearing that Neal initially told investigators a 2-year-old placed the baby in the dryer. He said Neal later told authorities that she may have placed the child in scalding water because the infant had diarrhea and that Neal became scared and put the child in the dryer.

A judge appointed a public defender to Neal and issued a $1 million cash-only bond. She’ll appear in court July 31.

Ex-Arkansan is facing charges in girl’s sex abuse

TEXARKANA - A California pastor who was raised in Texarkana has been charged by prosecutors in Arkansas with three counts of rape in the sexual abuse of a girl in the city more than a decade ago, according to Arkansas Online.

David Jerome Keener, 36, is accused of abusing a girl repeatedly beginning when she was 9 and ending when she was 13, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in the case. The case was reported to Texarkana police in March.

The victim said she was afraid to tell anyone about the abuse until years after it occurred.

“This happened for years and years and years, and I would just never say anything,” the affidavit quotes her as saying.

She provided police with specific accounts of multiple occurrences of forcible sodomy and said that as she grew older, she confided in family members, according to the affidavit. She also provided investigators with a copy of Facebook messages between a female relative and Keener during which the relative confronted Keener regarding the alleged sexual abuse, police said.

Boy, 17, accepts 25 years for killing a LR teenager

LITTLE ROCK - A Little Rock teenager has accepted a 25-year prison sentence for killing a man authorities believe might have been a victim of mistaken identity, Arkansas Online reports.

Latoris Edward Henry, 17, pleaded guilty on Thursday to second-degree murder, reduced from first-degree murder, in exchange for the sentence from Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza. The prison term, negotiated by Henry’s attorney Willard Proctor, will keep him behind bars for at least six years.

Henry’s mother, Chantanzilyn Alexander, testified in March that Henry had been with her at a family cookout when 19-year-old Kordell Lynn Johnson was killed.

Little Rock police found Johnson fatally wounded by gunfire last October in his home at the Big Country Chateau apartments on Colonel Glenn Road. He had been shot six times, including three times in the back.

Deputy prosecutor Ashley Clancy told the judge that Johnson, knowing he was dying, told police his killer was someone he knew as “JT.” Detectives said that Johnson had arranged to have some marijuana delivered to his home and that the drugs were delivered by JT and an unidentified man.

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