Murder suspects arraigned

Thursday, August 8, 2002

Security was beefed up at the Fulton County Courthouse during arraignments Aug. 6 for the five suspects arrested for the murder of an Agnos man.

Sheriff Lloyd Martz said he didn't expect any more problems from the suspects, but authorities weren't taking any chances after hacksaw blades were smuggled into one of the jail cells at the Fulton County jail in July and a fire was set at the Stone County Detention Center where one of the inmates was transferred.

Martz said because two inmates were charged with capital murder the cases were high profile, so extra security was added.

Bobby Wayne Woodrum, 18, charged with capital murder, was represented by court appointed attorney J. Russell Green of Heber Springs. Woodrum entered a plea of not guilty. His pretrial hearing is set for Sept. 17 and the trial is set for Oct. 7.

Brian Keith Shankle, 18, charged with capital murder was represented by Michael Loggains of Mountain Home and Larry Kissee of Ash Flat. All proceedings were stayed after a motion was made for a mental evaluation to be performed on Shankle.

Shankle not only faces capital murder charges, but he also faces an arson charge. This charge was added after he was transported to Stone County for security measures when contraband was found in the jail cell at Fulton County.

Shankle alle-gedly set fire to the detention center and was charged with arson July 27.

Smoke was detected from the roof of the jail and it was determined the fire started inside the return air ducts from two inmates' cells.

Evidence linked Shankle and another inmate to the fire, an earlier report said.

Jesse Petty, charged with first degree murder, appeared in court with his attorney, T.J. Hively of Batesville. Petty entered a not guilty plea and Kemp set his trial date for Oct. 7. His bond was reduced to $25,000, which he posted and was released.

Bill Jack Wilson, 26, who was released from Indepen-dence County jail after paying a reduced bond of $25,000, is represented by Norman Wilber of Mountain Home. Wilber had previously filed a waiver for arraignment so Kemp set his trial date for Oct. 7.

Timothy Est, 19, was appointed Richard Castleman of Pocahontas as the attorney of record at his arraignment. Castleman said he will be leaving the public defender's office but he would get with the public defender's commission to get another attorney appointed for Est. Est's bond was also reduced to $25,000.

The five men are charged in the June 24 slaying of Russell "Joe" Fisk at his Agnos home. A witness said Woodrum and Shankle went inside the home and argued with Fisk about money Fisk owed Woodrum for some lawn work.

The witness reported that Woodrum told her he struck Fisk in the face with his fist, causing Fisk to fall and strike his head on a cabinet. The witness said Woodrum told her the men fled the residence, not knowing whether Fisk was alive or dead.

Fisk was found later that night by a relative with a belt wrapped around his neck.

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