Prosecutor Drops Case Against Former Farmington Principal
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The West Fork district prosecutor has decided not to seek charges against Christopher Webb, the former Farmington High School principal who police say they found bloody and naked in his home last summer.
Webb, 43, was scheduled to appear in West Fork District Court this week, accused of violating a protection order his ex-wife had issued against him following his arrest last summer. The prosecutor in the case decided not to pursue the case, effectively dropping the case conditionally.
Prosecutors still have the option to pursue charges against Webb in the coming months if they wish, according to the West Fork District Court.
Webb was acquitted last month of domestic battery charges stemming from the bloody incident at his home in July, in which police say he slit his dog’s throat and assaulted his fiancée while naked and bloody in an upstairs bathroom.
Webb was acquitted in the assault case “because of mental disease or defect” stemming from his bipolar disorder, according to a court order.
Webb’s ex-wife told police he sent her four text messages in one day after she filed a protection order against the former principal on behalf of herself and the couple’s children. The order ran out Nov. 4 and hasn’t been renewed, according to the Washington County Circuit Clerk’s Office.
The woman immediately called police.
“I am afraid of the safety of my children and myself,” Webb’s ex-wife states in the arrest warrant affidavit.
Webb was arrested in January on suspicion of violation the protection order from his ex-wife. He was released the same day on $5,120 bond.
Webb was originally arrested July 19 after officers said they found him naked and bloody, assaulting his 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.
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 was 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 summer incident at his home.