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Baxter County Patrol Vehicle



Stephan Richard Whaples

Gearl Dale Adams

     A most wanted fugitive, 23 year old STEPHAN RICHARD WHAPLES, was arrested and taken into custody this afternoon in Izard County after officers from Izard and Baxter Counties checked a residence in Pineville, Arkansas for him.

    STEPHAN WHAPLES was the object of a several hour manhunt on July 17th in Norfork, Arkansas after he fled from the Norfork Police Chief at a private residence.  Authorities had been following up on leads since July 17th, which resulted in WHAPLES’ arrest shortly before 3:00 PM this afternoon.

     Baxter County Sheriff’s Deputies first dealt with WHAPLES on September 30, 2011 when he was arrested on numerous charges after a vehicle pursuit.  WHAPLES was arrested a second time on October 27, 2011 on charges that again included Fleeing from Police.

     WHAPLES was arrested a third time on April 6, 2012 on multiple charges which again included a Fleeing offense.  Each time following his arrest, WHAPLES managed to post bond and be released.

     Both the Circuit Court and District Court issued bench warrants for the arrest of STEPHAN WHAPLES after he failed to appear in those courts for an arraignment or a trial.  Baxter County Deputies had been searching for WHAPLES since May 5th on those outstanding warrants.

     This afternoon, the Izard County Sheriff’s Office notified Baxter County that they would be checking one or more residences for WHAPLES.  Baxter County Sheriff’s Deputy Lieutenant Rick Lucy went into Izard County to offer assistance.  Officers checked the first residence and found 27 year old GEARL DALE ADAMS there.  ADAMS was wanted on a Baxter County felony warrant for Revocation of Suspended Sentence on an original charge of Nonsupport.  ADAMS was taken into custody.  From the arrest of ADAMS, officers developed another lead with respect to the location of STEPHAN WHAPLES.  Officers from Izard County Sheriff’s Office, Baxter County Sheriff’s Office, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, and Canine Handlers from the Arkansas Department of Corrections – North Central Unit found WHAPLES hiding in a camper behind a residence on Hickory Street in Pineville.  WHAPLES was surprised and quickly taken into custody without resistance.

     STEPHAN RICHARD WHAPLES, aka Travis Shane Adams, is now once again in the Baxter County Detention Center being held without bond on the following bench warrants for Failure to Appear:

Warrant # WR121670         Issued 05/05/2012               Fail to Appear – Misdemeanor
Warrant #1200213               Issued 06/28/2012               Fail to Appear – Felony
Warrant #1200214               Issued 06/28/2012               Fail to Appear – Felony
Warrant #1200212               Issued 06/28/2012               Fail to Appear – Felony

     The original charges against WHAPLES included Fleeing (3 counts), Theft of Property (3 count), Breaking or Entering, Criminal Trespass, and Reckless Driving.   In addition to his arrest today on outstanding warrants, STEPHAN WHAPLES is also a suspect in Breaking or Entering and Theft of Property charges in Mountain Home and Baxter County that occurred after he fled in Norfork on July 17th.  Additional charges are expected to be filed against him in connection with those incidents.  WHAPLES may also face a fourth Fleeing charge from the Norfork Police Chief from when he ran on July 17th.


/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff