Press Releases



Michael Paul Howard

Keturah D. Sanders


     Two Mountain Home residents were arrested Thursday afternoon, October 20th , on outstanding arrest warrants for burglary, theft, and other charges. MICHAEL PAUL HOWARD, 35 years of age, and KETURAH D. SANDERS, 32 years of age, both remain in custody in the Baxter County Detention Center.

     On August 25, 2016 the Sheriff’s Office had taken a report from a person who stated that his storage unit in Gamaliel had been broken into and various articles of property stolen.  On September 20, 2016, another victim reported that her RV 5th wheel trailer had been broken into and numerous articles of property stolen.  Two days prior to this, on September 18th, a Sheriff’s Deputy had been flagged down by a citizen who reported that a man and woman had just been seen near the RV trailer in question.  This man and woman were followed to the nearby A-1 Storage Facility at 1617 Buzzard Roost Road.  The deputy went to the storage units and made contact with the man and woman, who he identified as MICHAEL PAUL HOWARD and KETURAH D. SANDERS.  They were standing in front of an open storage unit that contained numerous articles of personal property including musical instruments, clothing, flat screen televisions, and other items.  Having no warrant and no complaint of the burglary of the 5th wheel trailer at that time, the deputy photographed the contents of the storage unit but was unable to take any further action at that time.  These photographs were submitted to the criminal investigation division.

     On October 7, 2016, the victim from the RV 5th wheel trailer came to the Sheriff’s Office.  She was shown pictures of the items in the storage unit that the deputy had photographed.  The victim positively identified several of the items as belonging to her.  On October 10, 2016, a search warrant was obtained by investigators to gain access to the storage unit.  Numerous articles of stolen property were recovered.  These items recovered were collectively valued at approximately $4,750.  Other items observed in the photographs were no longer in the storage unit at the time the warrant was served, including a guitar with case and  two large flat screen televisions sets.

     Based upon their findings, investigators obtained warrants on October 13, 2016 for the arrest of MICHAEL PAUL HOWARD and KETURAH D. SANDERS.  These warrants were served yesterday, and both HOWARD and SANDERS were taken to the detention center on these and other outstanding warrants.  Among those was a warrant obtained by the Mountain Home Police Department charging HOWARD, a Level 3 Sex Offender, with failure to comply with registration for not residing at his stated address in Mountain Home.

     MICHAEL PAUL HOWARD is charged with:

Residential Burglary – Felony
Theft of Property – Felony
Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration – Felony
Revocation Bench Warrant – Felony
Failure to Appear in Court (3 warrants) – Felonies

     HOWARD is being held without bond in the detention center, with an appearance scheduled in Circuit Court for October 27.

     KETURAH D. SANDERS is charged with:

Residential Burglary – Felony
Theft of Property – Felony
Failure to Appear in Court – Misdemeanor

   SANDERS is being held in lieu of $26,000 bond, with an appearance scheduled in Circuit Court for October 27.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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Douglas A. Foreman

Bobby D. Dutton


     The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office has concluded its lengthy investigation into the hit and run accident that claimed the life of Douglas A. Foreman of rural Mountain Home on November 02, 2015 on Old Military Rd (Baxter CR 55).  Mr. Foreman was an employee of Baxter Regional Medical Center. Although Sheriff’s Investigator Scott Thrasher, who was the lead investigating officer in this case, obtained a bench warrant for the arrest of a suspect, the suspect passed away from a drug overdose before the arrest warrant could be served on him. 

     The investigation began on November 3, 2015 when the Sheriff’s Office received a call from the wife of 63 year old Douglas A. Forman.  Mrs. Foreman reported at approximately 3:51 AM that her husband had left the home the evening prior to go ride his bicycle as he often did but never returned home that evening.   Mrs. Foreman stated her husband was overdue and missing.  She provided deputies with some of the routes that her husband normally took when riding his bicycle.

     At approximately 4:13 AM that morning, Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Gates found Mr. Foreman on the Old Military Road (Baxter CR 55) nears its intersection with Baxter CR 69.  Mr. Foreman had been struck by a motor vehicle and was unresponsive.  Mr. Foreman was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

     An intensive investigation was undertaken in an attempt to determine who had struck Mr. Foreman and caused his death in this hit and run accident.  Evidence obtained during the course of the investigation indicated that the accident occurred at approximately 11:07 PM on the evening of November 2, 2015. Over the course of the following weeks and months, the Sheriff’s Office received more than 200 citizen tips or leads containing varying degrees of information.  Each of these leads was followed-up on by investigators.  A number of persons were named over time in these tips as being potential suspects.  With the exception of  the one suspect who was eventually charged, all others named as potential suspects were cleared.  Sheriff’s investigators conducted many interviews based on these leads, including conducting interviews in Little Rock and Benton, Arkansas and also with an inmate at the Arkansas Department of Corrections.  Early in the investigation, officers had canvassed the neighborhood more than once, and they also handed out flyers to motorists passing through the area in an effort to obtain information. The accident had also been reconstructed in detail by a certified reconstructionist with the Arkansas State Police.

     Seven search warrants and five subpoenas were obtained during the course of the investigation to give investigators access to vehicles, documents, records, and other information deemed to be relevant to the case.  Investigators obtained and reviewed more than 20,000 pieces of data from cellular phone tower sites.  This data was also reviewed by outside sources in an attempt to collect evidence relevant to the case. 

     The bicycle that Mr. Foreman had been riding, along with other forensic evidence, was collected  from the scene.  The bicycle and other physical evidence were immediately sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock and to the FBI Crime Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia for forensic analysis.  As the investigation continued, two motor vehicles that citizen tips indicated may have been involved in the accident were seized and taken to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to be analyzed.  The FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico was also asked to develop a case analysis profile.

     In May, 2016, a confidential informant provided the name of a potential suspect who had not yet been looked at.  Investigators began focusing on this suspect and began piecing together evidence that ultimately made a case against him.  This included interviews with family members, friends, and associates of this suspect.  This suspect was ultimately charged and a warrant obtained for his arrest at the conclusion of the investigation and prior to his death.  The suspect can now be identified as 19 year old Bobby D.  Dutton of rural Mountain Home.

     Sheriff’s investigators were told by witnesses that immediately following the accident, Mr. Dutton had driven to a mobile home park in Midway, Arkansas and went into a residence where several other people were present.  Witnesses stated that Mr. Dutton was very upset and “frantic” and said, “I hit someone” and indicated he needed a change of clothing.  Mr. Dutton then asked one of the other people present at the residence to assist him in burning the clothing he had been wearing.  This witness stated he helped Mr. Dutton burn his clothing in the back yard.  This witness was interviewed on more than one occasion and his statements remained consistent.  He was given a CVSA (computer voice stress analyzer) test.  This device is similar to a polygraph test.  This test indicated there was no deception present and the witness was being truthful in his answers.  Mr. Dutton had been asked to come to the Sheriff’s Office for an interview in May, but he refused.  Later, he did interview with an investigator on June 10th but made no disclosures.  On July 20th, Dutton was interviewed again, but asked for an attorney and made no statements.

     Investigator Scott Thrasher prepared an affidavit for a warrant of arrest on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 to apprehend Bobby Dutton for Leaving the Scene of an Accident with death or injury, which is a Class D Felony under Arkansas law.  The Prosecuting Attorney filed the charge, and a bench warrant was issued by the Baxter County Circuit Court on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.  Investigators later learned that Bobby Dutton had overdosed at a residence in Marion County and had been taken to the Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home.  Bobby Dutton passed away five days later on September 30, 2016 at the hospital, and the outstanding warrant could never be served on him.  According to the Baxter County Coroner’s Office, it was undetermined whether the overdose was intentional or accidental.  After Bobby Dutton’s death, Investigator Thrasher was informed by a member of Mr. Dutton’s family that Mr. Dutton had confessed to him that he had run over Mr. Foreman on the bicycle on the evening in question.

     With the issuance of the warrant charging Mr. Dutton, the Sheriff’s Office has closed the investigation into this matter.  The Sheriff’s Office wishes to thank the public for their assistance in providing tips, leads, and other information during the course of this nearly  year-long investigation.

     The Sheriff’s Office also wants to extend its appreciation to the many offices, agencies, and private entities that provided assistance and support throughout the course of the investigation.  These include:

Arkansas State Police
Federal Bureau of Investigation – Fayetteville Field Office and Quantico, Virginia
Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office
Office of the Prosecuting Attorney
Baxter County Coroner's Office
14th Judicial District Drug Task Force
Forensic ITC Services – Scottsdale, Arizona
IPTM – Jacksonville, Florida
Mobilized Cellular Repair – Mountain Home, Arkansas


/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff



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Rhonni Levi Hooton


     The Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call from 146 Buzzard Roost Cutoff Monday evening, October 17th at 6:02 PM, on a report that a man had knocked on a woman’s door and then pulled a knife.  Deputies went to the residence to investigate.  The victim informed deputies that a man came to her door, brandished a knife, and then left on foot toward Cochran Drive after throwing the knife down in the ditch.  The victim was able to provide a description of the suspect to deputies.

     Deputies began searching the area, and Corporal Rockie Morrell observed a man matching the description of the suspect in front of 54 Cochran Drive.  This person was subsequently identified as 36 year old RHONNI LEVI HOOTON, who resides on Cochran Drive.  The deputy observed that HOOTON was unsteady on his feet and having to hold on to the mailbox to keep his balance. HOOTON had blood on his hand and also on his shirt and pants.  Without the deputy mentioning anything about a knife at that point, HOOTON said aloud that he did not pull a knife on anyone. HOOTEN was taken into custody.  The victim later visually identified HOOTON as the man who had come to her door with a knife.  According to further statements of the victim, her 4 year old child answered the door. HOOTON was observed by her to be leaning against the door frame and appeared intoxicated.  The victim came up to the door to see what he wanted, and HOOTON allegedly had a knife and opened it up to where the blade was exposed. HOOTON mumbled statements, but was not understood by the victim.  The victim was in fear of her own safety and that of her child and immediately shut the door.  She then called 911 and observed HOOTON throw the knife into the ditch and leave.  Corporal Morrell recovered the knife in ditch.

     RHONNI LEVI HOOTON was subsequently transported to the Detention Center and booked on charges of:

Aggravated Assault – Felony
Endangering the Welfare of a Minor in the Second Degree – Misdemeanor
Public Intoxication – Misdemeanor

     HOOTON is currently being held in lieu of $15,000 bond, and he is scheduled to appear in the Circuit Court to answer the charges on October 27th.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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Cody B. Stradford


     A local Parolee, 31 year old CODY B. STRADFORD of rural Mountain Home, has been arrested on a weapons possession charge.

     STRADFORD was arrested late Monday evening, October 17th, after Sheriff’s Corporal Rockie Morrell investigated a suspicious vehicle parked at a building in the 2000 block of State Highway 5 North.  Corporal Morrell found two persons seated inside the parked vehicle.  The driver was identified as CODY STRADFORD, who is on active Parole with the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections. 

    A search of the Parolee’s vehicle was conducted by Corporal Morrell.  While searching the vehicle, the deputy observed several rounds of .243 caliber ammunition and asked STRADFORD if there was a weapon in the vehicle, which STRADFORD denied.  A continuation of the search uncovered a .243 caliber rifle, wrapped in a towel.  The firearm was concealed between the back seat and the trunk area.  Being a convicted felon, STRADFORD is prohibited by law from possessing a firearm, and he was taken into custody.

     CODY STRADFORD was transported to the Detention Center and booked in at 12:06 AM this morning on charges of:

Possession of Firearms by Certain Persons – Felony
Parole Violation

     He has a bond of $5,000 on the weapons charge but is being held without bond on the Parole Violation. STRADFORD will appear in the Circuit Court to answer on October 27th.  The passenger was not arrested or charged with any offense.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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      The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office is once again participating in the “National Take-Back Day” in an effort to removed unwanted, unused, and potentially dangerous controlled substances and over the counter medications from our medicine cabinets. This event will be held this Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. The Take Back Event will be held at the BAXTER COUNTY LIBRARY, which is located at the intersection of South College Street and the Hwy 62/412 Bypass in Mountain Home.  Personnel will be available at the library to assist citizens with their drop-offs. 

     The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications for destruction. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to children and to public health and safety. This event is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse.

          In the past, flushing medications and drugs seemed to be a safe and responsible method of disposal. We now realize that the drugs do not completely disintegrate and are contaminating our waterways. Wastewater treatment plants and septic systems are not generally designed to treat pharmaceutical waste. The risk to the health of our waters is significant when we contribute to pollution by what we pour down our drains. This ends up in our creeks, rivers, and lakes, and it places our drinking water supply at unnecessary risk.

     The National Take-Back Day program is FREE and “No Questions Asked”. The drop off location will accept pills and medications in the bottle or in a bag or other disposable container. People may remove any or all labels from the bottles or containers if they wish. The process is very easy…..simply drive up and drop them off. 

     In addition to this specific event, people may use the secure drop box at 206 West 8th Street that is accessible at all times. This lock box is under 24 hour recorded video surveillance for security purposes.

     All pills and pharmaceuticals collected will later be destroyed using our drug incinerator equipment. Anyone having questions about The National Take-Back Day or drop off procedures may contact the Sheriff’s Office for information.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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     The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a Clarkridge area man, 25 year old KEVIN PATRICK ALWES, from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

     A call was received at the 911 Center at approximately 12:01 AM on the morning of October 16th from 941 CR 479.  Sheriff’s deputies and EMS first responders were dispatched to that address.  Upon arrival, they found KEVIN ALWES inside and he was still alive.  Emergency medical aid was administered, however ALWES did not survive and was pronounced deceased at the residence by the County Coroner. 

     An investigation into the death of ALWES was undertaken.  A handgun that had been used was found adjacent to the victim and was taken into evidence.  There were several other persons present at the residence when the incident occurred. 

     The body of the decedent has been sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock for autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.  Arkansas State Police Investigators assisted the Sheriff’s Office with the inquiry.  No foul play is suspected by investigators.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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John Kirby Cruse


     The Sheriff’s Office is notifying the public that Level 3 Sex Offender (high risk to re-offend) has changed addresses and moved to a different location in Baxter County.


NAME:                       JOHN KIRBY CRUSE


DATE OF BIRTH:   03/02/1981


OLD ADDRESS:      70 L & L Ranch Rd.

                                    Mountain Home, AR 72653  


NEW ADDRESS:      143 Hummingbird Ln.
                                    Mountain Home, AR 72653              


     The offender’s most recent sex offense conviction was for Criminal Attempt to Commit False Imprisonment in the First Degree on May 24, 2001.  This offense involved the offender attempting to lure two females, ages 11 and 15, into his car.  Other criminal justice case history includes several counts of Indecent Exposure.


     This person is not wanted by law enforcement at this time.  This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.  This information cannot be used to threaten, intimidate, or harass Registered Sex Offenders.  Citizen abuse will not be tolerated.  Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to do community notification.   



     /s/ John F. Montgomery

   Baxter County Sheriff

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     The Sheriff’s Office is investigating an unattended death that was reported early Wednesday morning, October 12th, at 1085 CR 57 in Baxter County.

     JANET MARIE KEEHNEL, 70 years of age and residing at that residence, was found deceased at the residence after deputies responded to a 911 call that was received at approximately 4:05 AM.  The woman’s husband told investigators that he returned home from an out of state trip and found her deceased inside the home when he went inside.

     There was no indication of foul play, but neither was a cause of death apparent.  The County Coroner took possession of the body, and the decedent was sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock for autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.

     The case will remain open pending results of the autopsy.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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Frank A. Quintana


     The Sheriff’s Office is notifying the public that a Level 2 Registered Sex Offender (moderate risk to re-offend with community notification justified) has moved out of Baxter County and is now residing in Marion County.


NAME:                       FRANK ANTHONY QUINTANA


DATE OF BIRTH:   10/10/1977


OLD ADDRESS:      208 Buzzard Roost Cutoff

                                    Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653

NEW ADDRESS:   6027 Hwy 202, Apt. #1
                                 Oakland, Arkansas 72601          (Marion County)        


     The offender was convicted in Hardin County, Texas on 02/13/2009 of Indecency with a Child – Sexual Contact.  The victim was a 10 year old female.  Community notification is justified due to the young age of the victim at the time the crime occurred.


          This person is not wanted by law enforcement at this time.  This notification is not intended to increase fear; rather it is our belief that an informed public is a safer public.  This information cannot be used to threaten, intimidate, or harass Registered Sex Offenders.  Citizen abuse will not be tolerated.  Such abuse could potentially end law enforcement’s ability to do community notification.   



     /s/ John F. Montgomery

   Baxter County Sheriff


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Rural Norfork Area Man Found Deceased From Apparent Suicide

On October 7, 2016 at approximately 1:00 PM, Baxter County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to an address on Grey Wolf Trail, Norfork, Arkansas. The caller asked the deputies to check on the status of the owner of the residence due to a phone call that was received indicating the person was going to do harm to himself.

Deputies arrived at approximately 130 PM and after a brief search found the victim deceased in an unlocked outbuilding near the residence. The victim was found approximately 6 feet inside the room with an apparent self-inflicted knife wound.

Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas State Police and the Coroner’s Office responded and initiated the investigation. A note was discovered inside the house apparently written by the victim.

The body of 72 year old Daniel Earnest Kellem was sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock for autopsy to confirm the cause and manner of death.

The investigation is continuing.

Sheriff John Montgomery

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