Prosecutors offer murder suspect plea deal

Prosecutors have extended a plea deal to a Hot Springs man charged with first-degree murder.

Richard Eric Williford, 53, faces a first-degree murder charge in the November 2015 death of Bradley Stinson. He also faces a first-degree battery charge after allegedly beating another man with a baseball bat, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Defense attorney Barry Keith Faulkner asked that Williford’s pretrial be continued so that he could review new evidence in the case and explain the plea deal to Williford.

“I’m in the process of discussing [the offer] with Mr. Williford,” he said.

Circuit Judge Charles “Ed” Clawson Jr. granted the request and reset Williford’s pretrial to Feb. 28.

“You need to be ready at that time to dispose of [the case] or move forward with trial,” Clawson said.

Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Hugh Finkelstein said he could not comment on the details of the offer extended to Williford, who the State Hospital found fit to proceed with trial.

Williford’s charges stem from an incident at 16 Mt. Gale Road in Conway where FCSO deputies found 52-year-old Stinson dead and 40-year-old Paul Taylor severely injured.

A witness told police Williford struck Taylor in the head with a baseball bat during a “minor verbal altercation,” according to the affidavit.

The witness said Stinson was lying on a couch but that they were unaware of his condition because “he was covered up,” the affidavit stated.

Williford was picked up following a call the Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office received around 5:30 a.m. Nov. 19 regarding a suspicious man matching the suspect’s description named “Ricky” who said he needed help at a residence on Winwood Loop, which was a quarter of a mile from the Mt. Gale Road residence.

Williford was barefoot and “wearing only thermal pants and carrying a black jacket” at the time of his arrest, the affidavit stated. According to the affidavit, there were “visible drops of blood noted on his back and hands.”

A baseball bat and other items were seized from the Mt. Gale Road as evidence.

Williford has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.


(Staff writer Marisa Hicks can be reached by email at marisa.hicks@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)


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