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10/11/2012

SHERIFF'S OFFICE AND OTHER AGENCIES INVOLVED IN MANHUNT THIS AFTERNOON

Robert S. McClure

Robert Joseph Murrill
Previous Booking Photo

     Sheriff’s deputies and officers from other agencies were involved in a manhunt late this afternoon in the Clarkridge area after a vehicle being chased by an officer with the Game and Fish Commission crashed through a fence in a wooded area across from the Clarkridge post office.

     The Sheriff’s Dispatcher was alerted at approximately 4:31 PM by a Game and Fish Wildlife Officer that he was in pursuit of a vehicle that was traveling North on State Highway 201 from the Pigeon Creek area.  The pursuit was later determined to have been initiated because of a hazardous moving violation.  Sheriff’s deputies began to respond to provide assistance, but deputies were not involved in the pursuit.  At approximately 4:35 PM, the dispatcher was notified that the driver of the fleeing vehicle had crashed through a fence and into some trees.  One minute later, the officer stated he had one person in custody.  The vehicle was determined to be a 2000 Pontiac Sunfire with Missouri license plates that did not belong on that vehicle.

     Shortly thereafter, deputies, state police troopers, and other officers with the Game and Fish began arriving at the scene.  The man already in custody, believed to be the driver, was identified as 41 year old ROBERT S. McCLURE of Gainesville, Missouri.  Another occupant of the vehicle was believed to have fled on foot from the crash scene into the woods in a Westerly direction.  Tracking dogs from the Arkansas Department of Corrections – North Central Unit in Calico Rock, were called to the scene to attempt to track and locate the person who fled on foot.  The tracking dogs arrived at approximately 5:33 PM and began searching.  At approximately 5:49 PM, the dog handlers located the second person several hundred yards away in the wooded area and took him into custody.  This person was identified as 35 year old ROBERT JOSEPH MURRILL, who stated he resides in Branson, Missouri. 

     After he was taken into custody, ROBERT MURRILL told officers that a third person was in the vehicle and had also fled from the area on foot.  Information on this purported third person was broadcast to on-scene officers, and the dog tracking team briefly resumed searching.  However, shortly thereafter ROBERT MURRILL told officers that he had lied about the third person in an attempt to deflect attention from the driver, ROBERT S. McCLURE, who MURRILL did not know was already in custody.  The officer involved in the vehicle pursuit indicated he believed the vehicle to be occupied by only two persons and did not see a third person.

     ROBERT MURRILL was complaining of an injury to his leg.  He was transported by Sheriff’s vehicle to the Baxter Regional Medical Center Emergency Room for examination. 

     The traffic accident was investigated by the Arkansas State Police.  The vehicle appeared to have sustained moderate damage in the crash.

     ROBERT S. McCLURE has been booked into the Detention Center on charges of:

Fleeing from Officer in Vehicle – Felony
Driving While Intoxicated – Misdemeanor
Refusal of Intoxication Test – Misdemeanor
Reckless Driving – Misdemeanor
Prohibited Passing - Misdemeanor

     He is being held in lieu of $15,000 bond with a court appearance set for October 15th.

     ROBERT J. MURRILL is currently being examined and treated at the hospital.  He will ultimately be booked into the Detention Center on charges that include:

 Fleeing from Officer on Foot – Misdemeanor
Public Intoxication – Misdemeanor
Obstructing Governmental Operations – Misdemeanor
Failure to Appear in Court Warrant – Sharp County/Cherokee Village Police
Failure to Appear in Court Warrant – Mountain Home Police

     His bond amount and court dates have not yet been determined.

     There were approximately seven Sheriff’s Deputies, four State Police Troopers, four Game and Fish Officers, and three canine handlers from the Arkansas Department of Corrections involved in the manhunt. 

/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff

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