Bentonville Man Accused Of Killing Grandmother Denied Bond

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) – The Bentonville man suspected of stabbing his grandmother to death was denied bond Monday in Benton County Circuit Court.

Michael Conklin, 26, was booked into the Benton County Jail on suspicion of capital murder Saturday, a day after being captured by deputies in Saline County following a four-day manhunt. His grandmother, Nelma Darline Conklin, was found dead in their Bentonville home July 20, according to the Bentonville Police Department.

Authorities on Monday said Darline Conklin, 76, was stabbed to death July 14 before being found by police six days later. Michael Conklin’s arraignment is scheduled for Sept. 2 in Benton County Circuit Court.

A probable cause affidavit states officers found Darline Conklin’s body concealed by garbage bags in the home’s garage. Cardboard was also stacked around and on top of Darline Conklin. Her body was face-down with blood pooled around it, the affidavit states.

Darline Conklin suffered stab and slash wounds to the neck, according to the affidavit. The victim’s body was in a state of decomposition consistent with being dead for about a week, the affidavit states.

No cash was in Darline Conklin’s wallet in the kitchen. Her daughter later said she usually carried $200 to $300, according to the probable cause affidavit.

After the discovery of the woman’s body, investigators noticed Michael Conklin was missing, along with Darline Conklin’s silver Ford Focus. Michael Conklin was arrested Friday night without incident by Saline County deputies following a multi-day search.

In addition to capital murder, Michael Conklin also faces charges of interfering with emergency communications, theft and robbery, officials said.

Bentonville police on July 23 ruled Darline Conklin’s death a homicide. An arrest warrant was issued two days later for Michael Conklin on suspicion of first-degree murder, police said.

Michael Conklin does not have a felony record in Benton or Washington counties, according to sheriff’s offices in both counties.

Police said they were originally called out to the house, located at 3300 SW Elm Manor Ave., to check on Darline Conklin, who hadn’t shown up to her job in one week.

The probable cause affidavit states the suspect and victim had not been getting along and tensions were escalating before Darline Conklin’s death. Michael Conklin had moved in with his grandmother a few months ago and was only supposed to stay for a few weeks, the affidavit states.

conklin mugshot


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