Sheriff Tate Lawrence said that following a week and a half trial in Melbourne that ended Wednesday, January 22, Donald Dickey of Calico Rock was convicted of arson and murder in the first degree.
The jury, after deliberating for two hours, announced they had found 77 year old Dickey guilty of the two charges. Again, after convening for about 15 minutes, this same jury announced a sentence of two life terms in the Arkansas Department of Correction. Lawrence said that Dickey was convicted of setting his Gorby home on fire while the victim, wife Mary Dickey, was inside the home.
The fire completely consumed the structure and burned a vehicle sitting nearby. Shortly after the fire was reported on this July 2010 day, Dickey was observed driving away from the residence and was located at Jordan Landing on the Norfork Lake.
It was reported at the time that Dickey had been observed washing some items, suspected to be his own clothing, and clothing was found hanging on his pickup truck drying. The partial remains of Mary Dickey were located in the burned debris by investigators two days later.
The Arkansas Crime Laboratory determined that much, if not all his clothing including shoes and his belt, contained a level of a flammable substance.
Circuit Judge Tim Weaver was the presiding judge.

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