The capital murder suspect accused of stabbing a Tontitown woman to death was scheduled to appear in court Friday morning, but had his court date pushed back after prosecutors decided to combine the charges against him, according to the Washington County Prosecutor’s Office.
Brock Atkins, 19, was initially scheduled to begin his trial Friday in a separate drug case, but prosecutors are combining the charges with his capital murder case, according to the prosecutor’s office.
Atkins was charged in April with felony possession of drug paraphernalia for meth or cocaine. He bonded out of jail and was later arrested May 21 on suspicion of capital murder in the stabbing death of LeAnn Frazier, according to court documents.
Atkins pleaded not guilty to the drug charge in May. He pleaded not guilty to capital murder Monday (June 23), according to court records.
The suspect remains in the Washington County Detention Center without bond and has a trial date set for Aug. 20 in Washington County Circuit Court, court records show.
Frazier’s family told 5NEWS earlier this week they are calling for the death penalty against Atkins and suspected accomplice Lewis Hedges.
The death penalty can be applied to people convicted of capital murder and being an accomplice to capital murder, said John Threet, Washington County prosecuting attorney. No determination has been made on whether the office will seek the death penalty against either suspect.
Hedges, 34, of Springdale pleaded not guilty at his June 11 arraignment to a charge of being an accomplice to capital murder, officials said. At the arraignment, Hedges was ordered by Reynolds to appear in Washington County Circuit Court on August 14.
Hedges, known as “Tony,” was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on May 30 after being transferred from the Cass County Jail in Texas, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities arrested him in Texas after a week-long manhunt.
Hedges is being held without a bond on the felony charge.
Hedges was arrested May 29 by authorities in Texas following an interstate manhunt when Washington County deputies named him an accomplice in Frazier’s May 21 stabbing death.
Atkins is accused of stabbing Frazier in the throat 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 that Frazier was a “snitch.” Hedges said 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.