The family of a slain Tontitown woman wants the death penalty for the accused killer, as they prepare to put LeAnn Frazier to rest in a closed-casket funeral.
A post on one of the family member’s Facebook page states LeAnn Frazier was so badly beaten at the time of her death that her injuries must be hidden by a closed casket at the funeral, set for later this week.
Frazier’s accused killer, Brock Atkins, remains in the Washington County Detention Center without bond. His arraignment is scheduled for June 23, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Photographs from one of Atkins’ Facebook friends appeared on the social media network this week apparently showing the capital murder suspect smiling and sticking his tongue out during a video call from the Washington County Detention Center. The images were met with outrage from Frazier’s family on Facebook.
Atkins was arrested May 21 on suspicion of capital murder after deputies said he repeatedly stabbed Frazier in the throat until she was dead in a dispute near Tontitown. He then tried to hide the body, but was arrested by authorities the same day, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
While Atkins waits in jail for his court dates, county deputies are searching for a suspected accomplice in the case. A warrant was issued this week for the arrest of Lewis Anthony Hedges, 34. Hedges is being sought as a suspected accomplice to capital murder, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The warrant states Hedges pulled a semi-automatic handgun and ordered Atkins to kill Frazier because Hedges believed Frazier had stolen drugs from him. The arrest warrant goes on to state Hedges encouraged Atkins to kill Frazier by telling Atkins that Frazier was a “snitch”. Hedges said that Frazier could not be trusted, the warrant states.
Authorities said Atkins later chased Frazier outside and began stabbing her. Hedges blocked the patio door of the residence to prevent others from helping Frazier in any way, according to the warrant.
The Sheriff’s Office announced Friday (May 23) it was seeking Hedges as a “material witness” in the case for questioning, but deputies did not, at the time, name him as a potential suspect. Deputies released a statement Tuesday, though, naming Hedges as a murder accomplice suspect in Frazier’s death.
Hedges is believed to be armed with a semi-automatic pistol and might be driving a blue Dodge Neon, according to a post on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
Hedges is 5-foot-11 and weighs 225 pounds. He has brown eyes and brown hair, according to the Facebook post.
Records obtained by authorities show those suspected of being involved in Frazier’s slaying were sending text messages and exchanging phone calls and Facebook messages to third parties discussing the events that had occurred.
To view the entire arrest warrant, click here.
Frazier’s family told 5NEWS they have no idea who Hedges is or what involvement he may have had with her death.
Family members said police told them that 13 people were at Brock Atkins’ home at the time of her killing.
Frazier’s father, Marvin Stout, said he appreciates how quickly the police are moving to solve the case.
“I’m real pleased with how fast they are moving with it,” Stout said, “And as many people as they have talked to already, I just hope anybody that has any information on it would come forward.”
Stout and other family members attended Atkin’s initial court appearance Friday at the Washington County Detention Center. The family is seeking the death penalty in the case.