Family members of fatal stabbing victim LeAnn Frazier laid her to rest Friday in a funeral in Springdale. The funeral came the same day a suspected accomplice in Frazier's killing was extradited from Texas to Washington County.
"Thank God, whoever is responsible for his capture…I thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Frazier's mother Joyce Stout said.
The family said they were forced to conduct a closed-casket funeral because of the visible injuries Frazier's sustained at the time of her death May 21.
“I couldn’t go to the grave site because I brought my daughter into this world…I couldn’t take her out," Stout said.
She said she was overwhelmed by the amount of people that came to her daughter's funeral, but said she wasn't prepared for the burial.
“I gave her my plot, and you don’t expect to bury your daughter before you,” Stout said.
Lewis Hedges, 34, was booked into the Washington County Detention Center at 5:10 a.m. Friday (May 30) after being transferred from the Cass County Jail in Texas, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.
Hedges had his initial appearance before a magistrate judge at the detention center on Friday for a routine hearing. He is being held without a bond at the detention center in Fayetteville and is scheduled to be arraigned there on June 11, according to the Sheriff's Office website.
Hedges was arrested Thursday (May 29) by authorities in Texas following an interstate manhunt that began a week ago when Washington County deputies named Hedges as a “material witness” in LeAnn Frazier’s stabbing death from May 21. The Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday named Hedges as an accomplice to murder and released a warrant for Hedges’ arrest.
Frazier's family said they have no idea who Lewis Hedges is or why he was there when LeAnn Frazier was killed.
“I just hope Hedges comes through with more names, because they know more than what they’re saying,” Stout said.
The other suspect in the killing, 19-year-old Brock Atkins of Tontitown, was arrested May 21 and booked into the Washington County Detention Center on suspicion of capital murder. He appeared before a judge at the detention center and was given a June 23 arraignment.
The murder suspect remains in the Washington County jail without bond, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Atkins is accused of stabbing Frazier, 32, in the throat on May 21 until she was dead during an altercation that centered on drugs, according to court documents.
An arrest warrant for Hedges states he encouraged Atkins to kill Frazier by telling Atkins Frazier was a “snitch.” Hedges said that Frazier could not be trusted.
The warrant also states that Hedges said Frazier had stolen drugs from him. He then held a semi-automatic handgun to Atkins’ head and told Atkins that he needed to kill Frazier, according to court documents.
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.
Records obtained by authorities show those involved in the murder of Frazier were sending text messages, exchanging phone calls and Facebook messages to third parties discussing the events that had occurred.