Arkansas authorities have begun proceedings to bring a Florida man, who confessed to shooting a woman near Wirth and another in Jonesboro, back to Arkansas.
Hernando County Florida deputies arrested Allen Evans, 60, Dec. 29, a day after a female friend in Florida reported him to authorities as "missing and endangered," said Donna Black, public information officer for the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
"He stayed at her home for a week and she made him leave on the 21st," Black said. "She called because she became concerned about his state of mind. We were looking for him to make sure he was OK."
Florida authorities found Evans asleep in his Isuzu Rodeo parked in the driveway of the friend's home in Spring Hill, Black said.
When authorities ran Evan's name through the national database they found he was wanted in Arkansas for two shootings in northeast Arkansas, Black said.
According to the affidavit from Jonesboro Police Department, when the Florida officers found Evans, they also recovered a Marlin .22-caliber rifle in his vehicle. Evans is charged with one count of criminal attempt to commit capital murder in Craighead County and two counts of aggravated assault and one count of first-degree battery in Sharp County.
He refused to sign extradition papers, said Sgt. Stephen McDaniel with the Jonesboro Police Department. The prosecuting attorney is attempting to extradite Evans against his will.
"Usually people waive extradition and come back," McDaniel said. "It isn't often when they don't."
Gov. Mike Huckabee will have to work with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to get Evans back to Arkansas, McDaniel said.
Sheriff Dale Weaver said Evans confessed to the Dec. 26 shooting of Carol Howell, 62, of Coffeeville, Miss., and to the Dec. 27 shooting of Jonesboro attorney and former Craighead County Municipal Judge Bill Webster.
Weaver said Evans told Florida authorities he "shot to kill."
Webster was outside of his office on Franklin Street in Jonesboro Dec. 27 when he was shot with a rifle at close range. Webster suffered severe injuries to his abdomen and face. He is still listed as a patient in St. Bernard's Regional Medical Center as of press time Jan. 3. His condition was not released.
The day before Evans shot Webster he went to the home of Sherman Oakes, 55, of Oakes Lane near Wirth and fired two shotgun blasts toward the home. A pellet hit Howell's leg, but she was not seriously injured.
Oakes had owner financed a piece of property for Evans years before, said Sharp County criminal investigator Sgt. David Huffmaster. When Evans didn't pay, the deal fell through, he said.
"He apparently held a grudge over that property," Huffmaster said.
The probable cause affidavit from Jonesboro said Evans "had given Webster money and that he was supposed to help him keep his house in Hardy and assist in his divorce but didn't do anything." Evans said Oakes and Webster "got what they deserved," according to authorities.
Evans is a decorated Vietnam veteran who trained with the Navy Seals. He received three Purple Hearts and a Navy Cross for his service, Weaver said.