Murder Suspect’s Husband Arrested After Homemade Bombs Allegedly Found
The husband of a woman accused in the death of a Prairie Grove man is behind bars after police say an inquiry into homemade bombs turned into a drug investigation.
Steven Swain, 44, was arrested Sunday on suspicion of endangering the welfare of a minor, illegal possession of a firearm, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and several drug allegations. He remained Monday in the Washington County Detention Center on $3,500 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on North West Street in Springdale on Sunday night in reference to the sound of someone shooting a gun. Swain, the man at the residence, told deputies his son and son’s friends were making homemade chemical bombs in Mountain Dew bottles by using rubbing alcohol and chlorine, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Swain admitted to smoking marijuana, and a search of the suspect’s bedroom yielded the discovery of marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, the report states. Responding deputies also found a handgun under the mattress.
Deputies arrested Swain and transported him to jail.
Swain is the husband of murder suspect Heather Swain, according to court documents. Heather Swain, along with three men, faces a capital murder charge after authorities said the foursome drove a physically-disabled Prairie Grove man around for hours, beating him to death in December.
Court records show the Swains filed for divorce in 2001, but the case was dismissed in 2008.
Heather Swain, Anthony Swinford, Timothy Swinford and James Patton remain in the Washington County Detention Center without bond. Their murder trial is set for Aug. 19 in Washington County Circuit Court.
Ronnie Lee Bradley, a Prairie Grove resident described by neighbors as disabled, was beaten to death while the suspects took turns driving and punching and choking him, according to a preliminary report from the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office. Bradley lived on Cleveland Street in Prairie Grove. The car in his driveway has a license plate for disabled drivers.
Bradley told the suspects several times during the beating, “Please take me home,” the report states.
The Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at 8:30 a.m. Dec. 27 of a male in the unpaved driveway of a chicken farm at 17409 Four Corner Road. Responders determined the body was Bradley, and he was declared dead at the scene.
Deputies received information that Anthony Swinford may be involved in the suspected murder. In an interview later with authorities, Anthony Swinford said he beat the victim and left him in the driveway. He also implicated Swain, Patton and Timothy Swinford as accomplices, a report states.
Anthony Swinford also rode along with investigators and pointed out the incident locations, according to a preliminary report.
Swain cleaned up the evidence after the suspects dropped Bradley off in a driveway, a report states. She also faces a charge of tampering with evidence.
Investigators recovered bloody clothing and the vehicle used in the crime, according to the preliminary report. The suspects had marks on them that suggested they were involved in an altercation, a report states.
Three of the four suspects admitted to taking part in the beating, deputies said. Their admissions were backed up by witness statements, video evidence and physical evidence taken from the vehicle and the suspects’ homes, a report states.
Swain and Patton live in the same home. Anthony and Timothy Swinford are also roommates.
The suspected murder comes fewer than two weeks after Patton was arrested by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of third-degree domestic battery. He was also arrested and convicted of domestic battery in 2008 and a previous charge of assault on a family member.
All the suspects have a criminal history. Swain has previously been arrested in connection with domestic battery, possession of a controlled substance and driving while intoxicated. Anthony Swinford has a criminal history that includes charges of aggravated assault, possession of a controlled substance, domestic battery, breaking and entering, theft, commercial burglary, terroristic threatening and violation of a protection order. Timothy Swinford’s history includes arrests on suspicion of domestic battery, endangering the welfare of a minor and driving while intoxicated.