Hit-and-run suspect chooses bench over jury trial

Isaac Gatewood

A Faulkner County judge canceled a Conway man’s jury trial on Tuesday and reset the matter for a bench trial.

 

Isaac Gatewood, 20, was set for a jury trial on April 17. However, on Monday, Gatewood requested his trial be reset for a bench trial.


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Gatweood was charged with manslaughter, second-degree battery of certain persons and leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death following a hit-and-run that left one man dead.

Circuit Judge Charles “Ed” Clawson Jr. asked Gatewood if he was sure he wanted a bench trial instead of a jury trial, noting that the Constitution of the United States granted him “the absolute right to a jury trial.”

Gatewood said he understood his rights but preferred a bench trial.

Clawson granted Gatewood’s request and set a May 19 trial date.

Gatewood’s request for a bond was also granted.

Clawson set a $25,000 bond and said Gatewood would be subjected to drug testing and would be required to wear an ankle monitor.

Clawson also said Gatewood would be required to contact his lawyer within five days of posting his bond and that he must be drug tested before being released from the county jail.

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