By mid-morning Tuesday, Jan. 26 criminal charges had not been officially filed against a Newhope man who is accused of assaulting the Dierks mayor and vandalizing his vehicle late last year.
Because of connections to the defendant, both Prosecutor Bryan Chesshir and his deputy, Erin Hunter, have recused themselves from the case which was investigated by the Arkansas State Police.
Jeffrey Lynn Jester, 57, white male, with a Newhope address, faces likely felony charges of Battery in the Second Degree and Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree evolving from a November 9, 2015, early evening incident at the mayor’s residence.
Hempstead County deputy prosecutor Christi McQueen will reportedly prosecute the case, although her office told ‘The Leader’ last week that McQueen had not yet officially been appointed.
Jester told ‘The Leader’ Tuesday morning that he was anxious to have his side of the story known. When questioned by the newspaper, he said he would contact “some folks” before making a statement. He reportedly spoke to a Dierks church congregation recently about the incident.
Jester turned himself in at the county jail, Wednesday, Jan. 20. His ‘booking’ lasted one minute before he was released, according to the Affidavit of Arrest.
According to the affidavit, Dierks city officer Jason Icenhower was notified by a convenience store employee that Jester had come in the store and said he had “beat up the mayor Dierks,” adding that he was trying to turn himself in but couldn’t find an officer. The officer contacted Mayor Terry Mounts who confirmed a fight.
According to the affidavit, Officer Icenhower went to the mayor’s residence and noted red abrasions on his face. Outside, the mayor’s truck had windows knocked out and damage done to the hood and body. The mayor told the officer that while taking a shower he heard someone knock on the door. He went to the door and saw the damage to his truck. He said he also saw Jester getting into his own truck. When Mounts opened his door, Jester reportedly charged inside where the two fought. The mayor picked up a pistol and pointed it at Jester who then fled.
Mayor Mounts told ‘The Leader’ that he went to a hospital emergency room for treatment. He had suffered a concussion among other injuries.