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Murder suspect arrested on drug charges

Thursday, January 9, 2003

Murder suspect Jesse Petty is behind bars again. The 21-year-old Batesville man was out on bond when he was arrested Dec. 30 on drug charges.

Trooper Jeremy Hughes of the Arkansas State Police stopped Petty for driving left of center, and during a driver's license check Hughes discovered Petty's licenses had been suspended.

Hughes ordered Petty out of the vehicle and arrested him. At that time the trooper noticed a small, twist tied baggie containing an off-white powder substance.

The trooper reported that Petty was acting extremely nervous when he was in the vehicle and described his behavior as "fidgety."

Hughes reported that Petty had a package of french fries and while he was conducting an inventory search of the vehicle he discovered that inside the french fry bag was a larger twist-tied baggie containing a large amount of an off-white powder that later field tested positive for methamphetamine.

The substance had an approximate weight of 2.75 grams, said 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force investigator Scott Russell.

Petty was transported to the Independence County jail where he remains on a $15,000 bond, said Captain Lindsey of the Independence County Sheriff's Office.

Petty has been charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver, a class Y felony, said Lindsey.

The passenger, Tiffany Ann Blair, 20, was arrested for an outstanding warrant in Independence County, Lindsey said.

Petty is scheduled to appear in Fulton County Circuit Court for pre-trial matters Jan. 22, with a trial date of Feb. 25 for the murder of Russell "Joe" Fisk.

He is one of five suspects who have been charged in the death of Fisk who was found dead in his home by a family member June 24, 2002 with a belt wrapped around his neck.

Petty's attorney, T.J. Hively of Batesville, entered a plea of not guilty at the arraignment hearing Aug. 6.

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