Man Arrested In Connection To June Homicide In Johnson County

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KFSM) — Arkansas State Police and the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office arrested a man Thursday (Jan. 5) in connection to a homicide that happened June 2016, according to ASP.

Christopher Gerald Weston, 37, is facing a first-degree murder charge, ASP said. Weston’s arrest comes six months after Rick Partin’s body was found in a wooded area along Johnson County Road 1723 near the Johnson and Pope County line, according to ASP.

Weston was already in custody on unrelated charges at the Calico Rock Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction, ASP said.

Deputies were notified about the body by a confidential informant, according to Weston’s probable cause affidavit.

The informant told investigators around June 12, 2016 Weston said he shot Partin in the face so many times no one would know who Partin was, the affidavit states. Ten days later, the informant told deputies they could find Partin’s body and his pickup truck on County Road 1723, according to the affidavit. Deputies were able to find a severely decomposed body that was later identified as Partin, the affidavit states.

Two 9 mm bullets were found in the body and seven 9 mm shell casings were located near the body, according to the affidavit. Investigators determined Partin was last seen June 10 at a home in Pope County, which he left with a dog and Weston in a white pickup, the affidavit states.

The informant told deputies Weston came over in Partin’s pickup and his dog later that day, according to the affidavit. A few days later, Weston painted Partin’s truck black and then abandoned it in a field in Yell County, the affidavit states.

Two days before Partin’s body was found, Weston was involved in a pursuit with the Pope County Sheriff’s Office, according to the affidavit. A search of the vehicle on June 23 led investigators to three check books belonging to Partin, Partin’s social security card, as well as his license and vehicle registration, the affidavit states. Bank records and surveillance video showed Weston attempting to cash checks using Partin’s account on June 11, a day after Partin was last seen alive with Weston, according to the affidavit.

Weston was incarcerated at the Calico Rock Unit on numerous charges including theft of property, fleeing, felon in possession of a firearm, and possession of meth or cocaine.