Former Farmington Principal Chris Webb Acquitted

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Former Farmington High Principal Chris Webb, accused of third-degree domestic battery stemming from a bloody incident at his home this summer, has been acquitted of that and other charges “because of mental disease or defect,” according to a court order.

The Washington County Circuit Court order was signed Tuesday (Feb. 12) by Circuit Judge William Storey and filed Wednesday by the circuit clerk.

Webb, 43, was arrested July 19 after officers said they found him naked and bloody, assaulting his fiancée, Shannon Shrum, in their home.

A dead dog was in the bathtub, its throat slit. Officers also found a knife on the floor, the report states.

Police approached the couple’s home shortly after midnight after Webb’s 12-year-old daughter called 911. Upon entering, officers saw blood on the floor, walls and stairs. When police entered an upstairs bathroom, they saw Webb naked and bloody with Shrum in a choke-hold, according to a report from the Farmington Police Department.

After the arrest, Webb was examined at the Arkansas State Hospital in Little Rock by Dr. Courtney Rocho and was ruled to have suffered at the time of the offenses from a mental disease identified as “bipolar 1 disorder, most recent episode manic, severe with psychotic features,” the order states.

The disease “grossly impaired” Webb’s judgment, behavior, ability to meet the ordinary demands of life and capacity to recognize reality, according to the order.

The order stipulates Webb is to be committed to the custody of the state Department of Human Services “for further examination by a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist.”

The court found that Webb committed the offense he is charged with, but at the time of the offense he “lacked the capacity, as a result of mental disease or defect, to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law or to appreciate the criminality of his conduct,” the order states.

As a result of the acquittal, Webb will not be convicted of any crime in the incident and will not serve additional jail time, said Denis Dean, deputy prosecuting attorney.

Last month, Webb was in the news again after surrendering himself to authorities, more than a week after a new arrest warrant was issued for him.

West Fork District Court issued the arrest warrant Jan. 15 for Webb on suspicion of misdemeanor contempt of court stemming from a violation of a protection order.

Webb was booked Jan. 16 into the Washington County Detention Center on $5,120 bond.

His violation of a protective order court date is set for March 5, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

On the original charges, Webb pleaded not guilty in September at his arraignment in the Washington County Detention Center in front of Magistrate Ray Reynolds.

Webb is charged with aggravated cruelty to a dog, third-degree domestic battery, refusal to submit to arrest and committing an offense in the presence of a child, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.

Not guilty pleas are common at arraignments in felony cases.

Webb was treated at Washington Regional Medical Center, then was admitted to Vista Health Center in Fayetteville, according to a protective order petition. Vista Health provides mental health services.

He was jailed at the Washington County Detention Center, but was released on a $5,000 bond, records show.

Webb was fired as principal of Farmington High School during the next school board meeting after the incident.