Son-in-law and equipment salesman also charged in case
by Karen Sherrell
A former Izard County judge and two other men have been arrested following a nine month investigation into discrepancies of equipment purchases and other items involving the county judge’s office, and taxpayer’s money.
David Sherrell, Izard County Judge for three terms, from 2011 to 2016, has been charged with criminal use of property or laundering criminal proceeds, two counts of forgery, and theft of property, all four felonies.
Sixteenth Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer opened an investigation earlier this year, after reviewing alleged discrepancies during Sherrell’s term, specifically from March 2015 through December 2016.
According to court affidavits filed by Meyer on November 1 containing information from Dennis Simons, investigator with the Arkansas State Police, Sherrell’s charges were in connection with the purchase and sale of a 2001 Ameritrail 20 ton trailer, purchases of a John Deere 670B road grader and a Case 1150K bulldozer, and theft of tools and equipment in the amount of $3,500, all belonging to Izard County.
Affidavit and court filings
During Simons’ investigation, he discovered the purchase of two dump trucks for the Izard County Road Department in June of 2015.
Jeremy Purdue, of Coal Creek, LLC Truck and Equipment Sales, was approached by Sherrell for the purchase of the dump trucks along with an equipment trailer. Sherrell told the company that he could not obtain financing on the trailer and asked them to increase the price of the dump trucks to include the price of the trailer. Coal Creek presented two invoices to Sherrell for his signature, one for the two dump trucks totaling $83,000, and a second invoice for the trailer at no cost. The second invoice was not found in the county records, but was provided by Coal Creek.
The trailer was delivered on June 26, 2015 and Sherrell took personal possession of it. Perdue estimated the value of the trailer between $7,000 and $7,500. In July 2015, the Izard County Quorum Court approved financing the dump trucks, and the trailer acquisition was not disclosed to the Quorum Court. In November 2015 Sherrell arranged for the sale of the trailer from his son-in-law, Matt Orf, to the county. Orf presented a document that stated he was the owner of the trailer, and had the authority to sell the trailer, with Sherrell’s signature of approval. Sherrell approved to pay Orf $9,250 for the trailer, and on November 18, 2015, the county delivered a check for $9,250 to Sherrell. The check was endorsed by Orf and Sherrell and bank records show on that date that $3,000 was deposited in the Sherrell Farm Account, $3,000 was deposited in the Sherrell personal account, and $3,250 was cashed. Simons’ summary in the trailer investigation stated, “Izard County buys the trailer a second time, but this second time, the county actually receives the trailer.”
In 2016, auditors discovered the trailer transaction was not approved by the Quorum Court, which is required for transactions with family members. Sherrell approached the court to approve the purchase of the trailer from Orf, which was done on August 2, 2016.
According to the arrest warrant, Matt Orf, age 39 of Oxford, has been charged with criminal use of property or laundering criminal proceeds, a class c felony, in connection with the sale of the trailer.
In June 2015, Sherrell purchased a pair of road graders from Stibling Equipment LLC, for the Izard County Road Department. The cost of the graders was $143,000 for a John Deere 670G, and $20,000 for a John Deere 670B. Neither the customer order or invoices were found in county records, they were given to investigators by Stribling, and were dated June 26, 2016. Found in county records was a fraudulent invoice, not created by Stribling, for the sale of a single road grader, 670G, to the county for $163,000. On July 2, 2015, Stribling salesman Paul Shuttleworth signed the fraudulent bill of sale in Sherrell’s office. The fraudulent bill of sale was located in county payment records. Sherrell presented the purchase of the 670G road grader for $163,000 to the Quorum Court and on July 6, 2015, the court approved financing. Sherrell never disclosed the acquisition of the 670B road grader to the court, or road department. Simons’ summary in the road grader investigation stated, “Izard County unwittingly pays for the 670B road grader and Sherrell takes unauthorized personal possession of the 670B road grader.” Almost a year and a half later, following Sherrell’s defeat in the November 2016 election, the 670B road grader appeared at the county road shop, in December 2016. It was never listed in the Road Department equipment inventory during Sherrell’s term of office. The hours of operation on the 670B road grader were 11,551 at the time of sale in June 2015, and 11,721 in December 2016.
Paul Shuttleworth, age 52 of Mountain View has been charged with forgery in the second degree, a class c felony, in connection with the purchase of the road graders.
In September 2016, Sherrell arranged to purchase a used Case 1150K bulldozer from Scott Equipment Company LLC, and on September 2, 2016, he took possession of the bulldozer, which was receipted as a demo. Sherrell signed a driver receipt which noted Izard County as the customer. He hauled the dozer to his personal farm and unloaded it. On September 12, 2016 Scott created a retail order form indicating Sherrell as the purchaser of the dozer, for the amount of $43,000. Sherrell’s signature appeared on the order. Scott subsequently billed Sherrell for $43,000, sent to his home address, on September 30 and October 17, 2016. Later, Scott invoiced Izard County in the amount of $58,000 for the dozer, indicating a base cost and additional cost of repairs at 15,000. Other information showed Sherrell had the dozer tracks replaced by his mechanic while at his farm. Additionally he paid a county employee out of his own pocket to work on the dozer on his property. Witnessess had seen Sherrell operating the dozer making improvements to his property. County Road Department employee Jesse Morgan picked up the dozer from Sherrell’s farm and returned it to Scott. On November 21, Scott issued an invoice to the county for $60,000, indicating the dozer had a new undercarriage, and noted that the $2,000 increase was due to Sherrell indicating that he wanted the air conditioning fixed. On December 6, 2016, the Quorum Court approved the purchase of the dozer. Another repair order dated December 29, 2016 in the amount of $3,285.34 from Scott, was paid by the county on January 11, 2017. The dozer was then delivered to the road department on January 23 with significant hydraulic issues. The dozer was never taken to the county road shop for use during Sherrell’s term in office.
In March 2015, Sherrell purchased miscellaneous tools and equipment for the Izard County Road Department, from Darren Bates, for the amount of $3,500. County employees accompanied Sherrell to pick up the tools and some of the equipment was dropped off at Sherrell’s farm, including a 100 gallon air compressor and assorted tools. Sherrell requested payment by Izard County to Bates for $3,500, and a check was issued on April 1, 2015. On May 31 of this year, a search warrant was served at the Sherrell residence by investigators with Arkansas State Police. Investigators recovered multiple items identified by Bates as having been purchased by Sherrell, for Izard County.
Sherrell, age 58 of Oxford, surrendered to authorities at the Izard County Jail in Melbourne on November 1, and was released on a $10,000 bond. Orf and Shuttleworth surrendered to authorities the next day and were released on their own recognizance.


by Karen Sherrell
IZARD COUNTY – Sixteenth Judicial Prosecuting Attorney Holly Meyer opened an investigation earlier this year after reviewing alleged discrepancies in the Izard County Judge’s office, as to the handling of equipment purchases and other items, during the term of David Sherrell.
Dennis Simons, Special Agent with the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division, initiated an investigation into allegations of theft of Izard County property committed by Sherrell, according to the Affidavit for Search Warrant filed June 2. Sherrell was the elected judge for three terms, six years, from 2011 to 2016.
According to Simons, during an interview with an Izard County Road Department employee, he learned of the purchase of tools from a Sharp County auction in 2015, some of which were allegedly taken to Sherrell’s farm. The auction was held by Arkansas State Trooper Darren Bates, according to the affidavit, following the death of his father. Bates confirmed the purchase of the tools by Sherrell, and payment by check from the Izard County Treasurer’s office issued to him in the amount of $3,500. Bates told Simons Sherrell did not provide him with any personal money for the tools.
The tools in question included, in part, a Champion Air Compressor, a Chicago 3/4 pneumatic drive with a full set of sockets, a bench grinder, shop press and other assorted miscellaneous tools to be identified by Bates. Simons visited the county shop and was unable to locate the described tools.
On May 31, Simons, along with Izard County Deputy Gabe Sanders and Trooper Bates, executed a search warrant signed by District Court Judge David Miller, on Sherrell’s property located at 1115 Tri Lakes Road in Oxford. Equipment and tools were seized matching the description of the auction items listed on the search warrant, and identified by Bates.
Property seized was a Chicago pneumatic 3/4 impact wrench, a one inch drive socket, three green gas measuring containers, a Craftsman toolbox, Flexible Flyer snow sled, miscellaneous PVC pipe fittings, bailing twine, paint supplies, propane wall heater, two antique Mobile brand gas cans, McCulloch Pro Mac chainsaw, sump pump, Craftsman rotary trimmer-router, navy illumination flare container, antique drill press, two metal saw horses, antique vice, axle with attached wheels, heavy duty tie-down straps, shooting bench rest, pipe threading tools, and miscellaneous plastic containers.
“These items are considered evidence,” according to the search warrant, “and/or fruits of the crime of theft of property.”
When Meyer requested the State Police investigation on Sherrell in February, she also requested an audit of the Judge’s office. Four state auditors conducted the audit for the period of time Sherrell was in office, according to Izard County Judge Eric Smith.
The investigation is still ongoing.

accident
CHASE ENDS AT MARK MARTIN DEALERSHIP IN MELBOURNE: A 17 year old male juvenile in a stolen vehicle out of Montana, sped away from the Arkansas State Police on Friday, October 2 at approximately 5:30 p.m., traveling from north of Mt. Pleasant through Melbourne at a high rate of speed. He lost control of his vehicle at the intersection of Hwys. 9 and 69, flipping at least once. The juvenile exited the vehicle, was pursued on foot and captured within 20 minutes. No one was injured in the crash; however, several vehicles at the dealership sustained damage. New vehicles damaged were a Tahoe, two Silverado trucks, and two Equinox. Total damage was $237,000 according to Gary Hunt at the dealership.

arrest
Over the course of the past year, officers with the 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Mammoth Spring Police Department, Salem Police Department and Arkansas State Police have been conducting a drug investigation of methamphetamine distribution in Fulton County. Officers have made over 20 arrests related to the distribution of methamphetamine in this case with more arrests to come, and have seized thousands of dollars worth of narcotics in the ongoing investigation. The charges range from simultaneous possession of drugs and firearms, to possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.
On August 5, 46 year old Lanny R. McCormick of Viola was arrested for Use/Possession with the Purpose to Use Methamphetamine Drug Paraphernalia, a class D felony.
On August 6, 47 year old James William Braddock of Viola was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance.
On August 8, 46 year old Kimberly Hall of Viola was arrested for DWI Drugs, Driving on a Suspended License and Refusal to Submit a Chemical Test.
On August 8, 42 year old Shawn Oliver Richards, of Thayer, MO was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver Methamphetamine, a class B felony; Unlawful use of a Communication Device, a class C felony; Use/Possession with the Purpose to use Drug Paraphernalia, a class D felony; Use/Possession with the Purpose to use Drug Paraphernalia with the Purpose to Manufacture Meth, a class B felony; and Simultaneous Possession of Drugs and Firearms, a class Y felony.
On August 10, 34 year old Jack H. Culbreath of Damascus was arrested for DWI Drugs, Failure to Maintain Control of a Vehicle and Implied Consent.­­­­­­
On August 15, 25 year old Chrystal Lynn Herpst of West Plains, MO was arrested for Possession of Methamphetamine/Cocaine with the Purpose to Deliver, a class B felony; Possession with the Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia, a class D felony; Use/Possession with the Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia with the Purpose to Manufacture, Store, Contain or Conceal Methamphetamine/Cocaine.
On August 18, 45 year old James Denton Starks of Mammoth Spring was arrested for Use/Possession with the Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia, a class D felony.
On August 18, 38 year old Cynthia Deann Willman of Mammoth Spring was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver, a class D felony.
On August 18, 28 year old Uriah Alexander Robinson of Mammoth Spring was arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver Marijuana, a class D felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver Methamphetamine, a class B felony; Possession with Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia with the Purpose to Ingest Methamphetamine, a class D felony; Possession with Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia with Purpose to Pack, Repack, Store, Contain or Conceal Methamphetamine/Cocaine, a class B felony.
On August 18, 46 year old Randy Gene Ninemire of Mammoth Spring was arrested for Maintaining a Drug Premises, a class B felony, within a 1,000 feet of certain drug free zone; Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver, to wit, Marijuana, a class D felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver Methamphetamine, a class B felony; Possession with Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia with Purpose to Ingest Methamphetamine, a class D felony; Possession with the Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia with the Purpose to Pack, Repack, Store, Contain, or Conceal Methamphetamine/Cocaine, a class B felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance with Purpose to Deliver, to wit, LSD, a class C felony.
On August 20, 28 year old Scottie Jewell, 32 year old Bruce James Haskins and 32 year old Brandi Simpson, all of Mammoth Spring, were arrested for Maintaining a Drug Premises, a class C felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver Methamphetamine/Cocaine, a class A felony; Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver, to wit, Oxycodone, a class C felony; Use/Possession with the Purpose to Use Drug Paraphernalia, a class D felony; Use/Possession with the Purpose to Process, Prepare, Test, Analyze, Pack, Repack, Store, Contain Meth, a class B felony; Unlawful Use of a Communication Device, a class C felony.
On August 20, 42 year old Shawn Richards and 35 year old Rhonda Crouch, both of Mammoth Spring/Thayer area, were arrested for Possession of a Controlled Substance with the Purpose to Deliver, to wit, Methamphetamine, a class B felony; and Destruction of Evidence, a class D felony.
“Officers will continue to disrupt the distribution of narcotics in the Fulton County area,” said Al Roork, Fulton County Chief Deputy.
In other arrests, on August 6, 56 year old Debora Ann Wegenke of Salem was arrested for Felony Aggravated Assault on a Certified Law Enforcement Officer, Shoplifting, Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct.
On August 8: 52 year old Stephen Dewayne Cope of Pine Bluff was arrested for DWI; 19 year old Nicholas A. Bearce of Jonesboro was arrested for DWI and Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License; 49 year old Julie C. Matlock of Oxford was arrested for DWI; 26 year old Jacob Tanner Creasey of Little Rock was arrested for DWI; 49 year old James Floyd Daniels of Memphis, TN was arrested for DWI and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.
On August 9, 43 year old Terry Lee Price of Newbern, TN was arrested for DWI and Endangering the Welfare of a Minor.
On August 15, 23 year old Bruce Carroll Simpson of West Helena was arrested for DWI and Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License.
On August 16, 48 year old Robert Thomas Rollins of Glencoe was arrested for two counts of Domestic Battery in the Third Degree.
On August 16, 21 year old Adam Murphy Rollins of Glencoe was arrested for Domestic Battery in the Third Degree.
On August 14, 48 year old Susan Donatto of Viola was arrested for Disorderly Conduct.

On Thursday, July 25, a shooting occurred at the residence of Dale Koeling on Pleasant Valley Rd. in northern Fulton County.
According to Fulton Sheriff Kenneth “Buck” Foley, Koeling and Ricky Due sustained gunshot wounds and were hospitalized.
The investigation is being conducted by the FCSO and Special Agents of the Arkansas State Police. The investigation is still in progress.