By MARK PHILLIPS
The Sentinel-Record 3-9-1977
During a meeting with Arkansas State Police investigators in Hot Springs Tuesday, Hot Spring County Prosecuting Attorney John Cole was given copies of all reports the investigators have developed on the death of Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy Linda Edwards.
Sgt. Mike Fletcher said he and several other investigators, including Lt. Ken McFerran of Little Rock, met with Cole in a day-long session to familiarize the prosecutor with the case.
Fletcher said he felt the meeting was informative for the prosecutor, but said he was uncertain of the prosecutor’s current plans since Cole will be waiting on the State Police to check a few additional leads.
Until those checks are completed, Cole will be continuing his review of the reports on the investigation, Fletcher said.
Although some work remains to be completed, Fletcher agreed with a statement made Monday by Cole that the substance of the investigation is complete.
On Monday Cole also said the meeting between him and the investigators was a normal and routine procedure used to keep the prosecutor up-to-date on the developments in an investigation.
Any decision to file charges in connection with the deputy’s death will be made by Cole, however, Fletcher would not speculate Tuesday on when such a decision might be made.
In addition Fletcher pointed out that there is no way to tell how long it will take to check out the remaining leads.
He said it might take a day or two or as long as a month.
The trooper also said he felt the public did not understand the time involved in completing an investigation, noting that it must continue until a complete case is developed. For that reason, it becomes difficult to make predictions.
Although several attempts were made to contact Cole during the day and evening Tuesday, he was unavailable to make comments on the review session.
Cole pointed out on Monday, however, that the meeting was intended primarily to up-date him on the investigation and will not necessarily result in any immediate legal action.
Now that the meeting has been held, Fletcher said Cole “knows everything we know about the case.”