The Sentinel-Record 11-10-1978
The appeal of a Hot Spring County Circuit Court ruling in the Linda Edwards’ murder case is still pending in the state Supreme Court, Paul Blume, deputy Arkansas Attorney General, said Thursday.
Mrs. Edwards, a Garland County Sheriff’s Deputy at the time of her death, disappeared in August, 1976, and her skeletal remains were found several months later in a heavily wooded area in Hot Spring County.
Hot Springs Police Lt. Thurman Abernathy has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with the woman’s death. He has been free on bond since his arrest.
Circuit Judge Henry Means in August ruled that the testimony of a woman who said Mrs. Edwards was going to meet Abernathy on the night she disappeared is inadmissible. He said the testimony could not be used as evidence because it is hearsay.
Prosecuting Attorney John Cole is seeking to have the ruling reversed by the higher court on the grounds that the testimony is an exception to the hearsay rule.
Cole has indicated he will dismiss the charge if Means’ ruling is upheld.
Blume said his office has submitted its brief with the Supreme Court but that Abernathy’s attorney, Jack Holt, Jr., has been given a seven-day extension to file his brief.
He said he has no idea when the Supreme Court will rule on the case.
“I don’t have any idea,” he said. “I think we wrote a pretty good brief. That is for the Supreme Court to decide. It is completely in their hands.”