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Suspect in shear plant theft sentenced


NASHVILLE – A local man accused of stealing equipment from the now-closed Aero Metalcraft shear plant was sentenced to 16 years in the Arkansas Department of Correction Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court.

Edward Williams, 40, was originally taken into custody in December of 2013 after city officer Jimmy Steely observed a white Chevrolet truck pulling a trailer near the rail yard on Russell St. Steely initiated a traffic stop on the vehicle in a convenience store parking lot when he “noticed several old dies on the trailer that he recognized” from the plant, Police Chief Dale Pierce said in a statement issued at the time of the arrest.
Officer Randy Bohn was called to assist Steely and, after making contact with a representative of the now-defunct company, police were able to confirm that the materials belong to the owners of the plant, the statement alleged.
“[Then-Investigator] Amy Marion was notified and went to the Aero Metal Craft building with the responsible party and discovered the rear fence had been cut and the building had been broken into,” Pierce explained in the release.
In addition to his prison sentence, a portion of which will run concurrent with a separate sentence from Sevier County, Williams was ordered to pay court costs stemming from the charges.
In other court news:

• George Gitchell, 47, of New Orleans, made a first appearance on charges of residential burglary, theft of property and possession of firearms by certain persons. His bond was set at $25,000 and he was ordered to return to court May 6.
• Shara Henderson, 39, of Nashville, entered a guilty plea to a charge of second degree domestic battery after a mental evaluation found her fit to proceed. Henderson was sentenced to five years in the Arkansas Department of Correction on the charge, while a second charge of possession of drug paraphernalia was nolle prossed.
• Ricardo Manzanares, 24, of Hope, was sentenced to five years of probation and fined $1,000 after pleading guilty to charges of possessing a controlled substance with purpose to deliver and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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