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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Charges dropped against Fisk murder suspect

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Billy Jack Wilson to testify for state

Murder charges were dismissed in Fulton County Circuit Court Feb. 28 for suspect Billy Jack Wilson, 26, who was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Russell "Joe" Fisk June 24, 2002.

Fulton County Deputy Prosecutor C. Dwayne Plumlee filed a motion to decline prosecution March 3 because the suspect has agreed to testify on behalf of the state.

Plumlee said, "Charges can be refiled against Wilson if the state does not receive full cooperation from him through all court proceedings or until the last case has been disposed of including any appeals. If he doesn't testify truthfully the state can refile charges."

At Wilson's pre-trial hearing Jan. 22 Attorney Norman C. Wilber said his client was only the driver of the vehicle. He said Wilson had no prior knowledge that a murder was to take place.

Four additional murder suspects are awaiting trial in connection to Fisk's death. Two suspects charged with capital murder, Bobby Wayne Woodrum and Brian Keith Shankle, both 18, await a court date pending the results of mental evaluations.

Shankle was transported by the Fulton County Sheriff's Office Feb. 10 to the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock. He returned to the jail Feb. 14.

Woodrum's evaluation was performed Feb. 13 on an outpatient basis through an outreach program in Little Rock, said chief jailer JoAnn Cunningham. Woodrum was escorted back to jail the same day.

Jesse D. Petty, 21, is scheduled to appear before Judge John Dan Kemp for a pretrial hearing April 15 with the trial date set June 3. Petty was arrested Dec. 30 while out on bond from the first incident. Authorities stopped Petty for driving left of center and discovered drugs in his vehicle. He was charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to deliver.

Timothy Est, 19, is scheduled to appear for a pre-trial hearing May 13 and a trial date of June 3.

The five men allegedly traveled to Fisk's home the night of the murder. According to an affidavit Wilson told authorities Woodrum and Shankle said Fisk owed them $75 and they wanted to collect it. Wilson said he was to receive $25 for transporting the men.

All five suspects were arrested for the murder of Fisk who was found dead in his home that night with a leather belt wrapped around his neck.

The SWAT team arrested Woodrum and Shankle June 27 at Boggy Landing near Elizabeth after working surveillance on the pair.

The other three men, Petty, Est and Wilson, were arrested June 28 in Independence County.

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