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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Arrest prompts man to register as sex offender

Thursday, November 6, 2003

Staff Writer

A Horseshoe Bend man was arrested Oct. 23 for failing to register as a sex offender.

Keith Raymond Mardis, 46, has been charged with a Class D felony because he failed to register when he established residency after relocating from California, according to Horseshoe Bend Police Chief Fred Mitchell.

Mardis was convicted of sexual penetration with a foreign object while the victim was incapable of consent.

After his conviction the law required him to register as a sex offender which he did not comply with, Mitchell said.

Horseshoe Bend Police Officer Jim Griffin issued a traffic ticket to Mardis on Oct. 3. During the stop Mardis told Griffin that he had lived in the area for three months, Mitchell said. Griffin then advised Mardis that he needed to register as a sex offender.

After his warning he still failed to register, according to authorities, which resulted in his arrest.

During his arrest Mardis complained of some health problems so he was transported to Fulton County Hospital, Mitchell said. After his release from the hospital he was transported to the Izard County Detention Center and released on an "own recognizance" bond.

Mitchell said the following day Mardis registered at the police station.

Mitchell said he has to wait until the Arkansas Crime Information Center's review board assesses his risk level before it can be confirmed what level of a sex offender he is.

Information on the state's high risk sex offenders became public under a new state law which allows the information to be posted on the Internet.

Users can search for offenders by name, city, county, sex and race.

Based on information obtained from the risk assessment process offenders are assigned the following levels: level 1 -- low risk; level 2 -- moderate risk; level 3 -- high risk; and level 4 -- sexually violent predator.

According to the ACIC sex offender's registry the following names are listed as level 3 offenders in Izard County: Marshall Heath Armstead, Horseshoe Bend; Steve Wayne Butler, Horseshoe Bend; Delois Evonne Harris, Melbourne; and Billy J. Justus, Horseshoe Bend.

Fulton County search results included the following level 3 offenders: Ronnie Branscum, Salem; Donald Grant Cheesman, Elizabeth; John W. Fuller, Mammoth Spring; Jerry K. Hatman, Salem; Larry Wayne Parnell, Salem; and Carnie D. Sokol, Salem.

Sharp County level 3 offenders listed: Reed E. Avey, Evening Shade; James H. Foster, Hardy; Matthew Clarence Polston, Calamine; Palmer Lee Ward, Ash Flat; and Kenneth Lee Wright, incarcerated at Arkansas Department of Correction.

The following is a list which mandates convicted persons to register: any person who is convicted of certain sex offenses and offenses against children; any person who was incarcerated, on probation or parole, or serving any other form of community supervision as the result of an adjudication of guilt for certain offenses; any person who is acquitted on the grounds of mental disease or defect for certain offenses; any person who was required to register under the Habitual Child Sex Offender Registration Act; and any sex offender moving to or returning to Arkansas from another jurisdiction shall register within 30 days of establishing residency.

The number of registered sex offenders in the tri county area totals: Izard -- 17; Fulton -- 23; Sharp -- 34.

According to ACIC those who are convicted of failing to register can be punished by up to six years imprisonment or a $10,000 fine.



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