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Sex offenders sentenced

Thursday, November 1, 2007

O.T. Mitleff
An Izard County man learned he will be living the remainder of his life in the Arkansas Department of Correction during the recent October session of Izard County Circuit Court.

O.T. Mitleff, 64, of Cherry Valley was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being convicted of multiple rape charges involving a juvenile male.

Currently Mitleff is residing in the Izard County Detention Center, awaiting prison bed space, where he has been detained in lieu of a $1 million bond since his arrest Feb. 20.

Mitleff was arrested after an Izard County parent told authorities he had walked into his 13-year-old son's bedroom to find Mitleff alone with the boy with Mitleff's pants hanging down around his hips.

After the parent contacted authorities, Arkansas State Police Crimes Against Children Senior Investigator Jeannette Cooper conducted an interview with the child during which he described his relationship with Mitleff as one in which they "played around," according to official reports.

James L. Hellums
Throughout the course of the interview, the boy revealed that Mitleff had been inappropriately touching him and forcing him to engage in various sex acts in a variety of locations, beginning during summer 2006 when the child was 12 years old.

Following the boy's interview, additional victims came forward. One man, who is now an adult, said Mitleff had forced him into sexual activity when he was around 11 years old.

According to Izard County Sheriff Tate Lawrence, Mitleff will be at the least 92 years old before he will be released form authorities; he must serve a minimum of 28 years before being considered eligible for parole.

Another Izard County man will be going to prison for his sexual involvement with a minor.

James L. Hellums, 59, of Oxford was sentenced to three years in the Arkansas Department of Correction after being convicted of participating in sexual activity with a minor female.

According to reports, Hellums was arrested Jan. 13, 2006 after authorities determined he had engaged in deviant activity with an 11-year-old girl, including fondling and oral sex, during the Christmas 2005 holiday season.

Hellums, who prior to his conviction was out on bond, is currently being held in the Izard County Detention Facility also awaiting bed space.

After serving his time in prison, Hellums will be required to register as a sex offender.

Jimmy L. Pyle, 58, of Gassville in Baxter County was sentenced to five years in the ADOC after being convicted of possession of a controlled substance.

Pyle, who has a history of drug-related arrests, was arrested Sept. 24 after becoming nervous and agitated with authorities during a routine traffic stop for a faulty tail light.

Suspicious of Pyles's behavior, authorities searched his vehicle and found 2.1 grams of methamphetamine.

Pyle had over $6,700 on his person and also tested positive for methamphetamine at the time of his arrest.

Jason Sherrell, 21, of Melbourne was sentenced to four years for his involvement in a destructive spree throughout Izard County.

In January Sherrell was arrested for the destruction of several road signs, damage to the Melbourne City Park, the Izard County Fairgrounds, Cooper's Hawk Golf Course and for running a school bus into a garage door on the ICC bus garage.

Donnie Ray Woodcock, 25, of Calico Rock will spend five and a half years in the ADOC.

Woodcock was convicted of commercial burglary and theft of property relating to the August 2006 break-in of Watson Station in Pineville.

Larry Joe Herring, 29, of Horseshoe Bend was given an 8-year prison sentence after being convicted of theft of property and arson.

Herring has a history of run-ins with the law involving a variety of criminal activities.

The current arson conviction stems from an August incident in which Herring was arrested for conspiring with another man to set fire to a vehicle in order to collect insurance money.

Brandon Larson, 22, of Batesville was convicted of breaking and entering and sentenced to three years in prison.

Two women were also sentenced to serve time in the state prison.

Connie Sue Davis, 40, previously of Calico Rock will serve eight years in the ADOC related to her conviction of multiple possession of a controlled substance charges.

Kimberly D. Melding, 32, of Wideman, who is currently serving time in the ADOC for a previous conviction, was sentenced to serve another two years for theft of property and breaking and entering.

All convicted individuals are being held in the Izard County Detention Facility awaiting available bed space.

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