State briefs

This article was published November 3, 2017 at 4:00 a.m.

The Associated Press

Arkansas revenue

falls $36M below

projections for year

LITTLE ROCK -- Arkansas finance officials say the state's revenue for the fiscal year so far has fallen $36 million below forecast after a drop in corporate and sales tax collections.

The Department of Finance and Administration on Thursday said the state's net available revenue for October totaled $414.5 million, which is $24.5 million below the same month last year and $38.5 million below forecast. The state's net available revenue for the fiscal year, which began July 1, totals nearly $1.8 billion.

The state's individual income tax collections in October were below the same month last year, but exceeded the forecast. Corporate income tax collections in October were $17.2 million below forecast, while sales tax collections were $15.9 million below forecast.

Arkansas inmate

attempting to halt

Nov. 9 execution

PINE BLUFF -- A lawyer for an Arkansas death row inmate set for execution next week is telling a judge that the state's prisons director doesn't have the expertise to decide whether the man should live or die.

Jack Greene's lawyers say doctors should have a greater say on whether Greene understands why he is to be executed. Arkansas law gives the prisons chief's opinion considerable weight.

Television station KATV reported Greene and lawyer Jack Williams were in Jefferson County Circuit Court on Thursday hoping to stop the Nov. 9 execution. Assistant attorney general Kathryn Henry said any change in the law should come from legislators.

If Greene receives a lethal injection next week, it would be Arkansas' first execution since it put four men to death in an eight-day period in April.

Man sentenced to life

in prison for 2 murders

RUSSELLVILLE -- An Arkansas man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after being convicted of capital murder in the 2016 shooting deaths of two men.

Tyler Barefield, 36, was sentenced Thursday, a day after he was convicted in the deaths of Aaron Brock and Beau DeWitt, both. Both men were fatally shot, and their bodies were found crushed inside a vehicle at a salvage yard owned by Barefield's family in Russellville.

Surveillance footage showed Barefield at the scrapyard carrying a rifle and other gear the night of the shooting, but no DNA evidence connecting Barefield to the deaths was presented in court.

Barefield told an investigator he crushed the car in which the two men were found, but that he didn't know they were inside.

Prosecuting Attorney David Gibbons described Barefield as a "hunter," who was fed up with thefts.

"He was absolutely on the hunt, Gibbons said. "And like any hunter, he had knowledge of his prey, to stalk them and eliminate his problem."

Defense attorney Patrick Benca argued that Barefield was at the salvage yard to see if a thunderstorm had ruined newly placed gravel. He said Barefield would scout for thieves, but without the intention to harm anyone.

"He is not hunting people," Benca said. "He did not know he crushed people in those cars."

Pope County Circuit Judge William Pearson said the prosecution and defense came to an agreement on an enhanced sentence that will run concurrently. Prosecutors opted to not pursue the death penalty.

Benca said Barefield plans to appeal.

Pryor Center gets

$1.5 million to digitize KATV collection

FAYETTEVILLE -- A center focusing on Arkansas' oral and visual history has received $1.5 million to digitize old television news footage.

The David and Barbara Pryor Center for Arkansas Oral and Visual History announced the gift Thursday from Barbara Tyson and the Tyson Foods Foundation. The gift will be used to catalog, index, digitize and archive a collection of footage that Little Rock television station KATV donated to the center in 2009.

The TV station donated about 26,000 hours of video and film, and much of it has not been seen by the public since it was first broadcast.

The Pryor Center is part of the University of Arkansas' J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences.

Bill, Hillary Clinton speaking at event

LITTLE ROCK -- Bill and Hillary Clinton are appearing jointly at a lecture in the former president's home state later this month to mark the 25th anniversary of his 1992 election.

The Clinton School of Public Service and the Clinton Foundation announced Thursday the former first couple is appearing at a "special conversation" on Nov. 18 that will be moderated by political strategist and commentator James Carville. The event is being presented through the Frank and Kula Kumpuris distinguished lecture series.

The announcement said the two will discuss the 1992 campaign, their time in the White House and their public service careers.

State Desk on 11/03/2017
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