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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Appeal delivers not guilty verdict

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Chris Murphy

Staff Writer

Nearly two years after a Mammoth Spring man was found guilty of a variety of charges, a Sharp County jury found him not guilty of the two charges brought up on appeal April 17.

Joe Michael Harper, 38, was found not guilty in Sharp County Circuit Court on the charges of terroristic threatening and harassing communications. Harper was represented by his attorney Randall Miller of Jonesboro. The state was represented by Joe Grider, Pocahontas-based deputy prosecuting attorney for the 3rd Judicial District who was assigned to the case in early 2007.

Harper pleaded no contest to the two charges and additional charges of criminal impersonation, interception and recording and endangering the welfare of a minor during his court appearance before Sharp County District Court Judge Mark Johnson July 21, 2006.

At that time, Johnson ordered Harper to pay $5,000 in fines (supersedeas bonds) and serve four months in jail. He was also ordered not to have any contact with any of the witnesses in the case. An appeal bond was set at $3,000 cash and was posted by Harper. Harper then appealed the decision Aug. 7, 2006.

The court heard the case on just the two charges during the recent day-long court session. The other charges haven't been brought to trial as of yet. Grider said he expects them to be set for sometime in July.

Cherokee Village police began investigating claims of harassment against Harper in 2005 when contacted by Glenda Harper when the couple were separated pending their divorce, according to police. After the divorce became final, the harassment continued and spilled over into the police department, investigators said.

Harper also was alleged to have harassed Police Chief Scott Goodwin and bugged the phone lines to the police station and his ex-wife's home, authorities said.

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