Press Releases



Darren Lee Norman

Amanda N. Crawford

The Sheriff’s Office has arrested two people for stealing two personal watercraft from a storage facility on Highway 62 in the Henderson area that occurred sometime after June 12th.

     Sheriff’s Investigators became aware that the watercraft had been stolen after being contacted on June 22nd by the owner, who had been notified by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in Salem, Arkansas that they had recovered two personal watercraft belonging to the him.  Following that communication, the owner notified the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office to make a report.  The owner stated he had last seen the personal watercraft (a 2001 Sea Doo and a 2002 Sea Doo) on June 12th where they were stored at Brigg’s Iron Horse Boat and RV Storage in Henderson.  The two watercraft were valued together at approximately $4,650.00.

     Baxter County Sheriff’s Investigators subsequently interviewed three persons identified by Fulton County authorities, and two of those three admitted to being involved in the theft.  Warrants were procured for their arrest. 

     DARREN LEE NORMAN, 29 years old of Salem, and AMANDA NASHACRAWFORD, 28 years old of Salem, were arrested and booked into the Baxter County Detention Center today on one count each of Theft of Property – Class D Felony.  Bond was set at $5,000 each, and they will appear in Circuit Court to answer on July 24th.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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Eduardo Lopez

     The Sheriff’s Office is notifying the public that Level 2 Registered Sex Offender (Moderate Risk to re-offend with public notification justified) has moved once again and is now residing in Mountain Home at the following address: 

NAME:                       Eduardo Lopez   

DATE OF BIRTH:   05/16/1962 

OLD HOME ADDRESS:     198 Cedar Hill Trail
                                                Midway, Arkansas 72651 

NEW HOME ADDRESS:  145 South Main Street #107
                                            Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653 

     The offender was convicted of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the Fourth Degree on January 7, 1999.  This involved the offender having sexual contact with a 9 year old male.  Public notification is justified due to the young age of the victim at the time the crime was committed.  

     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 the death of a rural Mountain Home man after he was found deceased in his yard at 17 CR 253 by a friend of his Sunday evening.

     At approximately 8:36 PM on Sunday, July 20th, the Sheriff’s Office received the call reporting the death.  On arrival, Sheriff’s deputies found 52 year old RAYMOND LEE BARNES to be deceased on the ground outside his home. 

     Sheriff’s Investigators and the Baxter County Coroner were summoned to initiate an investigation.  The body of the deceased is being sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner’s Office in Little Rock for autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. 

     The investigation remains open pending the preliminary autopsy results.

Baxter County Sheriff’s Office

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New Crime Tip Feature on Baxter County Sheriff's Website

Website Home Page

New Crime Tip
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Mobile App
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The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce a new feature to our popular Baxter County Sheriff’s website. This new feature gives citizens the ability to upload non emergent photos, videos, audio and other files to the Crime Tips Form (http://www.baxtercountysheriff.com/crime_tip.php) on our site. This new feature is also available on our mobile version for those who access our website from their mobile phone or tablet.

 The Sheriff's Office is blessed to have such a great relationship with this community and receive many tips each month from citizens. Having the ability to upload photos, videos, audio and other files to the Crime Tips Form will allow enhance the public’s ability to assist the Sheriff’s Office in investigating or reporting a crime. As always, a person has the choice of leaving a phone number or email address if they want to be contacted or may remain anonymous if they choose. Of course in the event of an emergency or need of immediate assistance, please call 911 or the Sheriff’s Office at 425-7000.

The Baxter County Sheriff’s Website continues to grow in its popularity since we launched it in November 2007. With more than 1.1 million visits to our website so far in 2014 and an average of more than 34,000 unique visitors each month it has become a model law enforcement website for hundreds of Sheriff’s Offices in dozens of states from the east coast to the west coast. (www.MostWantedGovernmentWebsites.com)

We also wish to thank the public for their continued support of law enforcement. Mountain Home was recently named the 3rd safest city in Arkansas and we believe that is not by accident. We also believe the unique partnership we have between the public and law enforcement is a big reason we have such an incredible safe quality of life we all enjoy.

Sheriff John Montgomery

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     On Wednesday evening July 16th at approximately 8:45 PM, the Sheriff's Office responded to a report of a suicide at 7801 Hwy 126 N, Lot #8 in Midway.  The caller reported to the 911 center that she had gone to the residence to speak with the victim and found that he had hung himself inside the home and was deceased. 

     Sheriff's Investigators and the Deputy Coroner, along with EMS, were dispatched and investigated the incident scene.  The victim was identified as 29 year old JOHN ANTHONY WILHELM of that address.  He left a note of his action.  There is no evidence of criminal activity or foul play.  The body was removed by the Coroner's Office.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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Sex Offender Moves to New Address in Gassville

Brandon Elliott Hunt

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

NAME:                    BRANDON ELLIOTT HUNT

DATE OF BIRTH:   03/04/1983 Age 31

OLD ADDRESS   4697 CR 36
                                Mountain Home, Arkansas 72653 

NEW ADDRESS:   6854 Hwy 62 West #1
                               Gassville, AR  72635

     The offender was convicted of Sexual Assault of a Child in the Second Degree on 05/21/2002.  Documentation indicates this offense involved the offender engaging in sexual contact with a 12-year-old female.   Community notification is justified due to the young age of the victim at the time the crime was committed. 

     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.                                        

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Sex Offender Arrested For Not Reporting Address Change

Theodore John Cheever

July 8, 2014 at approximately 3:15 pm, Theodore John Cheever, age 25 was booked into the Baxter County Detention Center and charged with Failure to Comply with Sex Offender Registration requirements.

Cheever went to the Mountain Home Police Department earlier in the day where he had been registered as a level 2 sex offender living at 605 Cardinal Drive in Mountain Home.  During the visit it was learned that Cheever had a warrant for Contempt of Court out of Marion County.  Cheever was arrested by Mountain Home Police and a Baxter County Deputy transported him to Marion County.

Mountain Home Police Investigators discovered that Cheever was not living at the Apartment Complex but had living for 30 days or more at 502 Pioneer Trail, Apt B and had notified the Police or the Sheriff’s Office which is required under Arkansas Law.  Cheever was returned to Baxter County from Marion County and booked into the Detention Center charged with:

Failure to Register as a Sex Offender    Class C Felony

Cheever is being held in the Baxter County Detention Center on bond of $15,000 pending his appearance in Baxter County Circuit Court on July 17, at 9 am.

Sheriff John Montgomery

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Sheriff's Office Website Poll on Marijuana

With all of the prison and jail overcrowding issues that have been in the news lately, there have been several people contacted me (Sheriff) at the Baxter County Sheriff’s Office with suggestions that if the Judges would stop sending people to prison for Marijuana that would help ease the situation. There are approximately 14,500 beds in the Arkansas Department of Corrections with another 2500 convicted inmates waiting to go to prison when a bed becomes available. While the Marijuana issue certainly draws debate, a ‘Poll’ was put on the Baxter County Sheriff’s Website concerning Marijuana and Arkansas Prison incarceration. Although not scientific, the results may surprise you.

The question on the Poll was: “What percentage of people in Arkansas Prisons are there because of being convicted of Marijuana?”

Of the 1019 people who responded to the Poll, the number and percentage of voters are as follows. The correct answer will be at the bottom.

Greater than 50%...... 251 people voted or 24.6% of the total votes

50%...........................   55 people or 5.4%

40%........................... 131 people or 12.9%

30%........................... 144 people or 14.1%

20%........................... 105 people or 10.3%

10%...........................   80 people or 7.9%

5%.............................   76 people or 7.5%

1%.............................  48 people or 4.7%

Less than 1%............. 129 people or 12.7%

The correct answer is less than 1/10 of 1%.

The interesting results of this nonscientific Poll is that more than half of the respondents thought that the answer was 30% or greater. Only 129 people out of 1019 got the answer correct.

While the subject of Marijuana legalization may be a topic or debate, it is certainly not the cause nor contributing to our prison and jail crisis.

Sheriff John Montgomery

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Sheriff's Office Investigating Reported Accidental Shooting

July 7, 2014 at approximately 4:05 pm, Baxter County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call of an accidental shooting at 841 Fout Road, Gamaliel. Sheriff’s Deputies along with Gamaliel Volunteer Fire Department and Baxter Regional Medical Center Ambulance and personnel also responded.

Upon arrival Sheriff’s Deputies found 42 year old Jeffrey Thomas Lanham, who lived at this address, lying on a bed with a gunshot wound to the upper left chest.  Thomas told Sheriff’s Deputies it was a self inflicted accidental discharge from a RG 22 caliber revolver.  Thomas was flown by Air-Evac Helicopter to Baxter Regional  Hospital.

The investigation in continuing.

Sheriff John Montgomery

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     Baxter County Sheriff’s Deputies experienced a busy Independence Day holiday weekend this year. 

     There were 47 complaint calls or calls for service made to the Sheriff’s Office from Thursday through Sunday.  There were 41 bookings made at the Baxter County Detention Center by all agencies during this time covering 79 separate criminal charges.  Some of these bookings were for:

7 Driving While Intoxicated
4 Drug or Drug Paraphernalia Possession
4 Domestic Battery or Assault
4 Boating While Intoxicated
10 Warrants Served
4 Minor in Possession of Alcohol
3 Public Intoxication 

     In addition to the Detention Center bookings, Sheriff’s Deputies issued:

13 Citations for Traffic Violations or Criminal Misdemeanors
16 Warnings for Traffic Violations

     The most significant call involved a domestic disturbance shooting incident Friday evening, July 5th in Norfork where a man shot his brother in the face and upper torso with a 12 gauge shotgun, which was previously reported by press release.  This incident resulted in the arrest of CHARLES RAY DICKERSON, 54 years old of Norfork, on charges of Battery in the First Degree and Felon in Possession of a Firearm.  The victim was transported to a medical facility in Little Rock. 

     Sheriff’s Deputies assisted with coordinating and monitoring the fireworks displays at Norfork Lake on July 3rd and at Bull Shoals Lake on July 4th.  The Sheriff’s Office provided water patrol deputies for several hours per day throughout the holiday weekend.

     All area campgrounds and resorts appeared to be occupied at or near capacity.  The Sheriff’s Office worked jointly with U. S. Army Corp of Engineers Park Rangers in patrolling public campgrounds and public use areas on Norfork Lake and Bull Shoals Lake.

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff


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