A Hot Springs man was apprehended in Malvern Wednesday by multiple law enforcement agencies and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the homicide of Cory D. Richardson, a Hot Springs man whose body was found dumped in Greenwood Cemetery last month.
The Hot Springs Police Department, in conjunction with Arkansas Community Corrections Response Team, U.S. Marshals Service, Arkansas State Police, Malvern Police Department and the Hot Spring County Sheriff Department, arrested Steven Wood, 42, of Hot Springs, for first-degree murder and hindering apprehension or prosecution, Hot Springs police said in a news release Wednesday night.
Stephanie Shell, 21, of Malvern, was also arrested in Malvern and charged with hindering apprehension or prosecution in relation to the Richardson homicide, police said.
Wood was being held at the Garland County Detention Center on a zero bond. Shell was also being held at the Garland County Detention Center on a $25,000 bond.
"Additional arrests are anticipated on this case," the release said.
Four people have been arrested to date in connection with the Richardson homicide.
Jake L. Norwood, 28, who lists a Jerome Street address, was taken into custody in Benton on Nov. 5 and charged with felony tampering with evidence, punishable by up to six years in prison.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Norwood was being sought on an active warrant for evidence tampering in relation to the homicide investigation.
Detectives learned of Norwood's alleged involvement after interviewing two witnesses on Oct. 24, who stated Norwood told them about cleaning up a car and a body being dumped in the cemetery. Later that day, the driver of the vehicle, Melissa J. Wineland, 37, was arrested for tampering with evidence. She pleaded not guilty to the charge Oct. 25 in district court.
Wineland reportedly told officers she and another suspect had transported the body to the cemetery from her house and Norwood took the vehicle to a carwash to clean the blood from the back seat.
The body of Richardson, 31, of Hot Springs, was found the morning of Oct. 23 on a hillside to the east of the cemetery's main entrance at 701 Greenwood Ave. by a resident who was walking his dog.
According to an affidavit for a search warrant for a residence on North Patterson that was filed in district court Oct. 25, Richardson had apparent trauma to his body, including a bullet wound to his upper left buttocks. The other trauma was not specified in the affidavit.
At around noon Oct. 23, a witness came forward and told police Wineland had borrowed their car at around 11 p.m. Oct. 22 and returned it at around 10:30 a.m. the next day, confiding to the witness that she had used it to dump Richardson's body in the cemetery.
The witness stated Wineland said Richardson came to her house on North Patterson and an "altercation ensued between him and an unknown suspect." As Richardson attempted to flee the residence, Wineland allegedly told the witness, he was shot in the buttocks, a detail at that time known only by investigators.
The affidavit does not state the manner of Richardson's death, or whether it occurred at the North Patterson location.
A large amount of suspected blood was reportedly located in the back seat area of the witness' car, the affidavit said.
The search warrant specifically included forensic evidence, DNA, latent prints, trace evidence, bodily fluids, weapons and shell casings.
Local on 11/16/2017
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